US20120190386A1 - Wireless location establishing device - Google Patents

Wireless location establishing device Download PDF

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US20120190386A1
US20120190386A1 US13/359,394 US201213359394A US2012190386A1 US 20120190386 A1 US20120190386 A1 US 20120190386A1 US 201213359394 A US201213359394 A US 201213359394A US 2012190386 A1 US2012190386 A1 US 2012190386A1
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user
tilz
users
profile
widge
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Victor Thomas Anderson
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Victor Thomas Anderson
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    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04WWIRELESS COMMUNICATION NETWORKS
    • H04W4/00Services specially adapted for wireless communication networks; Facilities therefor
    • H04W4/02Services making use of location information
    • H04W4/021Services related to particular areas, e.g. point of interest [POI] services, venue services or geofences
    • GPHYSICS
    • G01MEASURING; TESTING
    • G01CMEASURING DISTANCES, LEVELS OR BEARINGS; SURVEYING; NAVIGATION; GYROSCOPIC INSTRUMENTS; PHOTOGRAMMETRY OR VIDEOGRAMMETRY
    • G01C15/00Surveying instruments or accessories not provided for in groups G01C1/00 - G01C13/00
    • G01C15/02Means for marking measuring points
    • G01C15/04Permanent marks; Boundary markers
    • GPHYSICS
    • G01MEASURING; TESTING
    • G01SRADIO DIRECTION-FINDING; RADIO NAVIGATION; DETERMINING DISTANCE OR VELOCITY BY USE OF RADIO WAVES; LOCATING OR PRESENCE-DETECTING BY USE OF THE REFLECTION OR RERADIATION OF RADIO WAVES; ANALOGOUS ARRANGEMENTS USING OTHER WAVES
    • G01S19/00Satellite radio beacon positioning systems; Determining position, velocity or attitude using signals transmitted by such systems
    • G01S19/01Satellite radio beacon positioning systems transmitting time-stamped messages, e.g. GPS [Global Positioning System], GLONASS [Global Orbiting Navigation Satellite System] or GALILEO
    • G01S19/13Receivers
    • G01S19/14Receivers specially adapted for specific applications
    • GPHYSICS
    • G01MEASURING; TESTING
    • G01SRADIO DIRECTION-FINDING; RADIO NAVIGATION; DETERMINING DISTANCE OR VELOCITY BY USE OF RADIO WAVES; LOCATING OR PRESENCE-DETECTING BY USE OF THE REFLECTION OR RERADIATION OF RADIO WAVES; ANALOGOUS ARRANGEMENTS USING OTHER WAVES
    • G01S19/00Satellite radio beacon positioning systems; Determining position, velocity or attitude using signals transmitted by such systems
    • G01S19/01Satellite radio beacon positioning systems transmitting time-stamped messages, e.g. GPS [Global Positioning System], GLONASS [Global Orbiting Navigation Satellite System] or GALILEO
    • G01S19/13Receivers
    • G01S19/35Constructional details or hardware or software details of the signal processing chain
    • GPHYSICS
    • G01MEASURING; TESTING
    • G01SRADIO DIRECTION-FINDING; RADIO NAVIGATION; DETERMINING DISTANCE OR VELOCITY BY USE OF RADIO WAVES; LOCATING OR PRESENCE-DETECTING BY USE OF THE REFLECTION OR RERADIATION OF RADIO WAVES; ANALOGOUS ARRANGEMENTS USING OTHER WAVES
    • G01S19/00Satellite radio beacon positioning systems; Determining position, velocity or attitude using signals transmitted by such systems
    • G01S19/38Determining a navigation solution using signals transmitted by a satellite radio beacon positioning system
    • G01S19/39Determining a navigation solution using signals transmitted by a satellite radio beacon positioning system the satellite radio beacon positioning system transmitting time-stamped messages, e.g. GPS [Global Positioning System], GLONASS [Global Orbiting Navigation Satellite System] or GALILEO
    • G01S19/42Determining position
    • G01S19/48Determining position by combining or switching between position solutions derived from the satellite radio beacon positioning system and position solutions derived from a further system
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04LTRANSMISSION OF DIGITAL INFORMATION, e.g. TELEGRAPHIC COMMUNICATION
    • H04L67/00Network-specific arrangements or communication protocols supporting networked applications
    • H04L67/30Network-specific arrangements or communication protocols supporting networked applications involving profiles
    • H04L67/306User profiles

Abstract

A system, method, service and wireless location-establishing device are disclosed, which locates its position by a plurality of means, including GPS satellite interrogation and triangulation. Alternative methods of location establishment include triangulating location data from nearby location-established objects such as WiFi or cell site towers, as well as from other present Invention location establishing devices (“Survey Eggs”). Once location has been established, the device can transmit and receive a variety of data based upon location, profile, and other factors, facilitating novel interactions and transactions.

Description

    CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS
  • This application is a Continuation-in-Part of and claims the benefit of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 12/366,525, filed on Feb. 5, 2009, which claims the benefit of Provisional Application Ser. No. 61/026,262, filed Feb. 5, 2008, Provisional Application Ser. No. 61/037,499, filed Mar. 18, 2008, Provisional Application Ser. No. 61/038,617, filed Mar. 21, 2008, Provisional Application Ser. No. 61/039,839, filed Mar. 27, 2008, Provisional Application Ser. No. 61/040,243, filed Mar. 28, 2008, and Provisional Application Ser. No. 61/042,663, filed Apr. 4, 2008. The foregoing patent applications are hereby incorporated by reference in their entirety.
  • FIELD OF THE INVENTION
  • The principles of the present invention relate to a location establishing method, location establishing devices, and a location establishing service and system, that has applications for many fields, including property surveys. Additionally, the present invention relates to a method and system of data transmission and reception. The data transmission and reception includes, but is not limited to, such items as information, advertisements, offers, and profiles.
  • DESCRIPTION OF THE CONVENTIONAL ART
  • At present, when performing a boundary survey for a particular property, survey instruments are utilized to locate the corners of a property owner's lot. The surveyors often mark these corners by driving wooden stakes in the ground.
  • When the work is done that necessitated the boundary survey, the wooden stakes are (often) removed.
  • Unfortunately for the property owner, if additional work needs to be done, say a few years later, the owner must incur the cost of performing another boundary survey all over again (with potentially varying results).
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • The present Invention is conceived as a response to the above-described disadvantages of the conventional art. The present Invention relates to wireless, location-establishing devices (hereafter “Survey Eggs”), that are wireless Global Positioning Satellite (GPS) devices that enable surveyors to permanently locate the boundary points of property lines. Survey Eggs address problems such as having a property owner's boundary surveyed over and over, for thousands of dollars each time the owner, say, renovates their property.
  • Accordingly, a cost-efficient method for providing permanent location information is needed.
  • Survey Eggs can be placed in the ground once (FIG. 4), and property owners can have their boundary points located permanently.
  • Once established, Survey Egg boundary points can, for instance, be mashed up with satellite map data allowing property boundary lines to be displayed on services such as online maps, as well as synchronized with official parcel maps (FIG. 4).
  • The principles of the present invention also relate to another embodiment, with a focus on commercial, municipal and government applications for surveys, highways, roads, and paths; in addition to, information communication to police, DMV, car companies, other users, etc. This ruggedized embodiment is referred to as “Gotz Dotz” for convenience. Gotz Dotz can, for example, replace Botts' Dots on highways, and are designed to withstand being run over by vehicles.
  • The principles of the present invention also relate to yet another embodiment, which shall be referred hereafter to as “Survey Nuts” for convenience, which are devices that do not utilize satellite GPS to locate themselves, instead triangulating from three or more of the boundary Survey Eggs (or other location-established Survey Nuts). Survey Nuts are intended to be placed in every corner and key point of a structure. Once in place Survey Nuts can, for instance, provide a three dimensional electronic blueprint 195 of that structure.
  • In addition to survey-related uses, property owners can utilize Survey Eggs/Nuts to mini-broadcast a commerce communications cloud—an extranet referred to as a “ComCloud” for convenience—from (or within) their property to (a) synchronously interact with others without necessarily utilizing the Internet.
  • For example (FIG. 5), the property owner can, via means such as Bluetooth, wirelessly post their “garage sale” items to their ComCloud. Others with devices such as mobile handsets who are walking or driving by 503 and who have created a profile of items they are shopping for, are notified of profile matches for the “garage sale” items. The two parties can then message each other via the ComCloud to set up a time to inspect and possibly purchase the item(s).
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • Survey Eggs address and disrupt the vast worldwide market for property/structure surveys. Hundreds of millions of surveys are performed worldwide each year, with an average cost often above $1,000 in developed countries. Because most boundary surveys do not leave permanent boundary markers such surveys may be performed over and over again on the same property/structure.
  • Performing the same boundary survey over and over again is extremely wasteful. Survey Eggs address this obvious problem with a new type of permanent electronic boundary/survey marker 403, 404, 405, 406.
  • The subdivision maps 401 maintained at County Assessor's Offices are sometimes inaccurate, especially for older subdivisions.
  • Most subdivision maps rely on what are called Survey Monuments. These are physical nails or plaques that are placed in/on the ground and act as the reference points for official subdivision surveys. Over time however, some Survey Monuments are lost or incorrectly replaced. This happens, for example, when a Survey Monument is located in a sidewalk or road that is torn up to access underground utilities, and then re-surfaced. Survey Monuments are supposed to be replaced in exactly the same spot, but in practice they are sometimes replaced inaccurately.
  • The result is tens of billions of dollars of wasted time, and unnecessarily lengthy surveys, to re-establish an accurate starting point for each survey. Survey Eggs also act as permanent and accurately re-locatable Survey Monuments.
  • Among other uses, Survey Eggs amass location data to produce subdivision plot maps that may be more accurate than those currently available, and are continuously available at minimal cost—compared to the thousands of dollars spent each time a plot owner needs to do any redevelopment (such as building a new house, or a house addition, or a new sidewalk, or new road, or municipal building, etc.).
  • The online plot maps Survey Eggs produce provide impetus for resolution of differing boundary surveys—as well as a basis for updating inaccurate legal descriptions of properties—all of which benefits property owners and Assessor's Offices in producing highly reliable and accurate property boundary 402 and subdivision 401 maps.
  • Surveyors (In embodiments, surveyors install and maintain Survey Eggs, and may revenue share the software, services and transaction income from those Survey Eggs); Government entities (Municipalities may offer new residents a discount on boundary Survey Egg service fees in exchange, for example, for a portion of the Survey Egg CloudCast monthly revenue); Architects (Because architects require the survey (and blueprint) data, they may market Survey Eggs to clients on a monthly basis (with an ongoing revenue sharing relationship), rather than utilizing conventional art (one-time) survey (and blueprint) techniques/methods); Geology organizations (may want the types of datasets that Survey Eggs produce, and seek grants/funds to obtain (aggregated) Survey Egg data); Tourist boards (may co-market the ComCloud travel guide features, in exchange for a cut of revenue from paid guides/tours); Web Drops (Web Drops are places in the real world where users (or objects) can gain access to a wider network of other users or objects, generally via wireless networks, both paid (such as a carrier wireless network) and unpaid (such as Bluetooth). For example, in embodiments, Survey Eggs can be utilized to transfer cellphone (wireless) traffic to landline/fiber optic networks).
  • Survey Eggs provide vital connections between the online and offline worlds, and may play a vital role in the transformation of the conventional art network architecture. Survey Eggs/Nuts not only establish locations, but fundamentally change people's lives, via the interactions and transactions enabled by Survey Eggs CloudCast, as well as the marketing and merchandising of products and services.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • The Invention, together with further objects and advantages thereof, may best be understood by reference to the following description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, wherein like reference numerals identify like or similar elements, and wherein:
  • FIG. 1 is a functional block diagram and schematic of an exemplifying architecture of an embodiment of a wireless location-establishing device and system in accordance with the Invention.
  • FIG. 2 is a schematic of an exemplifying architecture of an embodiment illustrating how a user might physically interact with and manage the Invention.
  • FIG. 3 is a depiction of one of a plurality of Invention installation embodiments, in this case above-grade, on a spike, and powered by a solar cell array.
  • FIG. 4 is a diagram illustrating how installing the Invention (“Survey Eggs”) at the corners of a property, enables the Survey Eggs to calculate distances and thereby create a boundary survey map, that can be synchronized electronically with an official parcel map.
  • FIG. 5 is an exemplifying diagram illustrating an embodiment of a system, service and method for broadcasting and matching profiles in accordance with the Invention.
  • FIG. 6 is a diagram of an exemplifying architecture of an embodiment of a wireless location establishing device establishing its location via a plurality of means including, Internet-based data, nearby location-established structures such as WiFi towers, or even other location-establishing devices—including such devices as various Invention device embodiments referred to as Survey Eggs or Survey Nuts.
  • FIG. 7 is a diagram of an exemplifying architecture of an embodiment of a wireless location-establishing device establishing its location via triangulation.
  • FIG. 8 is a screenshot illustrating an embodiment of an example data display modality, that the Invention owner can customize via their computing device or mobile handset, and which is based upon various optional Invention attachments.
  • FIG. 9 is a diagram of an exemplifying architecture of an embodiment wherein the Invention is employed by a commercial enterprise to facilitate a profile broadcast, and thereby interact and transact with users.
  • FIG. 10 is a functional block diagram illustrating an embodiment of an example of advertising profile acquisition, creation, and matching, as per the Invention's facilities and algorithms.
  • FIG. 11 is a flow diagram illustrating an embodiment of an example wherein a user scans a movie ad in a newspaper, whereupon the user's movie profile is updated, and thereby the movie-providing entities send ads, offers, and information per the user's profile.
  • FIG. 12 is a depiction of an embodiment of an example user profile, wherein the movie profile is informed by a data tile for every movie the user has already seen, in addition to a tile for each movie the user would like to see in the future; as combined with optional location and score data.
  • FIG. 13 is a functional block diagram illustrating a depiction of a user's advertising profile, and the constituent elements therein; in addition to a depiction of an embodiment of a simple schematic illustrating the functional relationships between the user and the product and service providers.
  • FIG. 14 is a flow diagram illustrating an embodiment of example process steps followed by advertisers as they first pay a user to view and review a user's profile, to thereby determine if it's advantageous to pay to send the user ads; and further consider paying additional monies for priority data placement (an unique variation on paid search, wherein the user is paid; as opposed to a middleman entity).
  • FIG. 15 is an illustrative example of an embodiment of the profile creation process depicting one of a plurality of profile creation and management user interface screens; in this case, manual profile creation via checklists or barcode scanning (as opposed to the Invention's automatic profile creation facilities).
  • FIG. 16 is a depiction of an embodiment of an example user interface screen, wherein the value of information in a profile is measured (among other factors) by how current, how fresh, the information is.
  • FIG. 17 is a diagram illustrating an embodiment of an example wherein products are interacting with the user (via the use of RFID); as per the user's profile the Invention is allowing the crackers to send the user information, but not allowing information from the soup or cereal. Additionally, the diagram illustrates an embodiment of an example of how scanning the grocery receipt can, if the user wishes, automatically add those items from that purchase to the user's ad profile.
  • FIG. 18 is a block diagram illustrating an embodiment of an example architecture wherein a user's ad profile informs how, when and where a user would like to receive ads, in addition to which ads to receive.
  • FIG. 19 is a depiction of an embodiment of an example of an unique ad management facility, a Spherez, wherein ads/offers/info/et. al. a user receives are received in thumbnail tiles that are mapped onto (in this case) a sphere; whereupon the sphere information management facility attracts like content to it, for which the user may be paid directly by the ad sender, for prominent placement on the user's topic-specific sphere.
  • FIG. 20 is a functional block diagram illustrating an embodiment of an example of coupon profile acquisition, creation, and matching, as per the Invention's facilities and algorithms.
  • FIG. 21 is a flow diagram illustrating an embodiment of an example wherein a user scans a movie ad in a newspaper, whereupon the user's movie profile is updated, and thereby the movie-providing entities send coupons, offers, and information per the user's profile.
  • FIG. 22 is a functional block diagram illustrating an embodiment of a depiction of a user's coupon profile, and the constituent elements therein; in addition to a depiction of an embodiment of a simple schematic illustrating the functional relationships between the user and the product and service providers.
  • FIG. 23 is a flow diagram illustrating an embodiment of example process steps followed by advertisers as they first pay a user to view and review a user's profile, to thereby determine if it's advantageous to pay to send the user coupons; and further consider paying additional monies for priority data placement (an unique variation on paid search, wherein the user is paid; as opposed to a middleman entity).
  • FIG. 24 is a depiction of an embodiment of an example of an unique information management facility, a Spherez, wherein coupons/offers/info/et. al. a user receives are received in thumbnail tiles that are mapped onto (in this case) a sphere; whereupon the sphere information management facility attracts like content to it, for which the user may be paid directly by the coupon sender, for prominent placement on the user's topic-specific sphere.
  • FIG. 25 is a diagram illustrating an embodiment of an example wherein products are interacting with the user (via the use of RFID); as per the user's profile the Invention is allowing the crackers to send the user information, but not allowing information from the soup or cereal. Additionally, the diagram illustrates an embodiment of an example of how scanning the grocery receipt can, if the user wishes, automatically add those items from that purchase to the user's coupon profile.
  • FIG. 26 is a block diagram illustrating an embodiment of an example architecture wherein a user's coupon profile informs how, when and where a user would like to receive coupons, in addition to which coupons to receive.
  • FIG. 27 is an illustrative example of an embodiment of the profile creation process depicting one of a plurality of profile creation and management user interface screens; in this case, manual profile creating via checklists or barcode scanning (as opposed to the Invention's automatic profile creation facilities).
  • FIG. 28 is a functional block diagram illustrating an embodiment of an exemplifying architecture of a method for server-side profile configuration and transaction facilitation as per mobile handset scanning and broadcast.
  • FIG. 29 is a depiction of an embodiment of an example wherein both product/service providers as well as the user broadcast their profiles, which are then profile-matched by the Invention; thereupon filtering for just those coupons/offers/information/et. al. the user desires.
  • FIG. 30 is a functional block diagram illustrating an embodiment of a depiction of the transmutation process, wherein a plurality of content on a traditional Website is filtered as per a user's profile for just the desired subset of content, which is then transferred to the user's device as a ParaSite, a customized local copy of the Website; in addition to a flow diagram illustrating an embodiment of a method for extracting the profile-based subset of content which informs the ParaSite—the customized local copy of the Website.
  • FIG. 31 is a depiction of an embodiment of a method for users to navigate through the thumbnail tiles representing their various custom, local Websites (ParaSites); which can be accomplished on a touchscreen by flicking through the tiles with one's finger.
  • FIG. 32 is a depiction of an embodiment of an example of an unique information management facility, wherein ParaSites (custom, local Websites) a user receives are received in thumbnail tiles that are mapped onto (in this case) a sphere; whereupon the sphere information management facility attracts like content to it. A sphere is a convenient navigation modality for ParaSites, particularly on mobile handset-sized devices.
  • FIG. 33 is a functional block diagram illustrating an embodiment of an exemplifying architecture for a method whereby real world interactions inform changes to a user's ParaSite.
  • FIG. 34 is a functional block diagram illustrating an embodiment of an exemplifying architecture of a method for server-side profile configuration and transaction facilitation as per mobile handset scanning and broadcast.
  • FIG. 35 is a flow diagram illustrating an embodiment of example process steps followed by advertisers as they first pay a user to view and review a user's profile, to thereby determine if it advantageous to pay to send the user ads; and further consider paying additional monies for priority data placement (an unique variation on paid search, wherein the user is paid; as opposed to a middleman entity).
  • FIG. 36 is a functional block diagram of an embodiment of an example of profile-based links Unlike links on Webpages, which take different users who click on the same link to the same destination, ParaSites links are profile-based, and thus take different users to different destinations based upon each user's profile.
  • FIG. 37 is a depiction of an embodiment of an exemplifying architecture illustrating a method by which users can create ParaSites, and the interactive relationship between the hosted Website and the ParaSite.
  • FIG. 38 is a table illustrating the distinctions between the Web's (and therefore Websites') aging fundamental technologies, and their modern, designed for the mobile handset age, replacements including the present Invention's constituent components, data “tiles” (hereafter “Tilz”), which supplant and/or update the aging hypertext markup language protocol.
  • FIG. 39 is a functional block diagram illustrating an embodiment of an exemplifying architecture of a ParaSite, that not only is a Tilz as whole, but each element of the ParaSite (text, photos, ads, etc.) are each Tilz themselves—each Tilz with its own IP address. Tilz within Tilz.
  • FIG. 40 is a functional block diagram illustrating an embodiment of a depiction of the transmutation process, wherein content in any language format is translated into the Invention's unique universal mobile digital-content format MDF—everything is transmuted into one thing, a Tilz. Providing additional detail is a functional block diagram of an embodiment of an exemplifying architecture of the client and server software systems that inform the Tilz Platform functionality.
  • FIG. 41 is a functional block diagram illustrating an embodiment of an example of how Tilz can be utilized to program a user's ceiling fan light while the user is away on vacation.
  • FIG. 42 is a depiction of an embodiment of an example user profile, wherein the movie profile is informed by a tile of information, a Tilz, for every movie the user has already seen, in addition to a Tilz for each movie the user would like to see in the future; as combined with optional location and score data.
  • FIG. 43 is a functional block diagram illustrating an embodiment of an example of Tilz as the constituent elements of a user's profile broadcast which was just informed by the user scanning an ad for a movie the user wanted to see; whereupon a commercial slot is later filled when that user watches TV by the Tilz of the movie trailer for the movie whose ad the user scanned.
  • FIG. 44 is an illustration of an embodiment of an example depiction of the conceptual basis for Tilz: Tilz are like a digital baseball card for every object, person, idea, anything, everything.
  • FIG. 45 is a table illustrating the distinctions between the Web's aging fundamental technologies, and their modern, designed for the mobile handset age, replacements including the present Invention, Tilz which supplant and update the aging hypertext markup language protocol.
  • FIG. 46 is a functional block diagram illustrating an embodiment of an exemplifying architecture of a Website, that not only is a Tilz as whole, but each element of the Website (text, photos, ads, etc.) are each Tilz themselves—each Tilz with its own IP address. Tilz within Tilz.
  • FIG. 47 is a functional block diagram of an embodiment of an example of profile-based links Tilz, which functionally replaces Websites, also contain links to additional information; however, unlike links on Webpages, which take different users who click on the same link to the same destination, Tilz links are profile-based, and thus may take different users to different destinations based upon each user's profile.
  • FIG. 48 is a functional block diagram illustrating an embodiment of an example of Tilz as the constituent elements of profiles, which are matched, by matching the data/metadata appurtenant to Tilz; thereby facilitating desirable features such as Tilz-based profiles preventing information overload. Only desired content (Tilz) gets through to the user.
  • FIG. 49 is a depiction of an embodiment of an exemplifying architecture illustrating a plurality of methods by which users can create Tilz.
  • FIG. 50 is a functional block diagram illustrating an embodiment of an example of profile acquisition, creation, and matching, as per the Invention's facilities and algorithms.
  • FIG. 51 is a functional block diagram illustrating an embodiment of an example of a simplified hardware for an embodiment of the present Invention (Mobi), and the functional facilities that inform one or more Mobi embodiments.
  • FIG. 52 is a functional block diagram illustrating an embodiment of a depiction of a user's profile broadcast, which the user creates with, and, in some embodiments, broadcasts from, the present Invention; in addition to a depiction of an embodiment of a simple schematic illustrating the functional relationships between the user and the product and service providers.
  • FIG. 53 is a depiction of an embodiment of an example wherein both product/service providers as well as the user broadcast their profiles, which are then profile-matched by the Invention; thereupon filtering for just those ads/coupons/information/et. al. the user desires.
  • FIG. 54 is a functional block diagram illustrating an embodiment of an exemplifying architecture of a method for server-side profile configuration and transaction facilitation as per mobile handset scanning and broadcast.
  • FIG. 55 is a diagram of an embodiment of an example of the present Invention.
  • FIG. 56 is a diagram of an embodiment of an example of the present Invention.
  • FIG. 57 is a depiction of an embodiment of an example of an unique information management facility, a Spherez, wherein data a user receives are configured into thumbnail tiles that are mapped onto (in this case) a sphere; whereupon the sphere information management facility attracts like content to it, for which the user may be paid directly by the data tile sender, for prominent placement on the user's topic-specific sphere.
  • FIG. 58 is a functional block diagram illustrating an embodiment of a depiction of a method for determining whether an intersection of interest exists pursuant to interactions and/or transactions.
  • DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS
  • The present Invention is described in one or more embodiments in the following description with references to the Figures. While the Invention is described in terms of the primary modes for achieving the Invention's objectives, it will be appreciated by those skilled in the art that it is intended to cover alternatives, modifications, and equivalents as may be included within the spirit and scope of the Invention as defined by the appended claims and their equivalents as supported by the disclosures and drawings herein.
  • Devices
  • Shaped and sized slightly larger than a hen's egg in a preferred embodiment FIG. 1, although other embodiments contemplate other sizes, compact, secure, waterproof Survey Eggs contain a GPS device that can accurately locate its position in one of several ways including (FIG. 7): communicating with orbiting GPS satellites 701 or triangulating from three or more location-established fixed objects such as WiFi 601 or cell site towers 701.
  • Survey Eggs enable, for instance, surveyors to permanently establish the boundary points of property lines. The resultant boundary/location information 402 can then be transmitted to subscribers, such as the Survey Eggs Website, the user, any number of online map services, or even the County Assessor's office for official filing 401. Survey Eggs address the problem wherein property owners pay over and over again to have boundary points located, at considerable expense each time. Survey Eggs are placed in the ground once, and for an optional monthly fee, boundary points are permanently located and signaled. Once location has been established, the device(s) can transmit and receive a variety of data based upon location, profile, and other factors, facilitating novel interactions and transactions.
  • A ruggedized embodiment, Gotz Dotz, are compact, secure, waterproof, reflective, location aware, intelligent path marking units (primarily utilized in commercial, municipal, and federal applications), that may serve, for instance, as replacement for Botts' dots on highways to divide lanes of traffic. Gotz Dotz can also comprise a wireless service network (method) to store and transmit geo-based data.
  • Another embodiment, Survey Nuts, are typically smaller location sensing devices. They are primarily intended for use in establishing all the corners and edges of structures—and are often installed at the time the structure in being constructed. Once in place they can, for instance, produce a three dimensional electronic blueprint of the structure 195.
  • Potential Survey Egg/Nut Points
  • 50 million single family home plots in the U.S. (and almost 1 billion worldwide) with 3 points minimum (and a greater number for rectangular or odd-shaped lots), plus multi-family dwellings such as apartments/condos, plus commercial structures/buildings such as office buildings, gas stations, grocery stores, etc.
  • Roads, bridges, antennae, street light posts, telephone poles, ocean buoys, mountaintops, streams, glacier edges (to monitor melting), etc.
  • City, county, state, and national survey points: buildings, parks, monuments, sidewalks, etc.
  • Survey Egg Extranet
  • In addition to survey-related uses, property owners can utilize Survey Eggs to mini-broadcast a commerce communications cloud (“ComCloud”)—essentially an extranet from their property to (a) synchronously interact with others (and other entities) via mobile device (or other devices) without necessarily utilizing the Internet. Users can post items to their ComCloud, which can notify others walking by with a profile seeking one of those items. Survey Eggs are capable of storing information beyond their basic location information. Survey Eggs software enables the user to download data and compatible applications, such as ComCloud management software. Downloading is accomplished via any of the networking communications protocols resident on that particular Survey Egg. The ComCloud can access and utilize a user's broadband Internet access via WiFi, or other means; however user-supplied Internet access is not necessary for a ComCloud to function. ComCloud is broadcast (CloudCast) via various means such as Bluetooth, WiFi, wireless carrier network, and other means. A software widget enables users to utilize their mobile device (among other devices) to place items into their CloudCast. For example, the Bluetooth onboard the Survey Egg can be utilized to broadcast (CloudCast) user-supplied information/profiles over a distance of up to 100 meters or more from the location of any given (boundary marker) Survey Egg. So too, ads and offers, can be stored on, and delivered by, Survey Eggs without need for the Internet. And because Survey Eggs may be utilized by businesses, as well as individuals, Survey Eggs may disrupt/improve the way people get information, communicate, interact, transact, and buy and sell.
  • With the ComCloud management software installed, the user can manage, via various digital devices such as a mobile handset, the information broadcast by the ComCloud created by their boundary marker Survey Eggs. A digital dashboard is supplied to manage the ComCloud, including selecting the networking protocol utilized, managing the content, and setting the range of the broadcast (e.g. via online mapping service).
  • Once established the ComCloud can perform a number of functions (FIG. 5):
  • Automatically alert the power company in the case of a power outage.
    Provide lifeline alerts for the elderly. The elderly can, for example, wear a tiny Bluetooth or WiFi pendant. In embodiments, the pendant features a button for the person to press if they are in distress.
    Advertising local or property needs or information;
  • Such as:
  • House is for sale—and provides the details (price, square footage, digital brochure, etc.).
  • Homeowners can accept offers of interest from others, via a vis purchasing their home. Thus, when it comes time to sell their home, homeowners may not need the marketing services of a real estate agent, since the homeowner may have amassed a number of leads/names/profiles of parties interested in purchasing the home, thereby possibly saving thousands of dollars in real estate agent commissions.
  • Continuous garage sale items—not just on weekends, and without having to haul all their stuff into the driveway. Users 503 can digitally offer their items without, for example, eBay (or similar) listing fees.
  • Services wanted (for example, homeowner posts requests for proposals (RFPs) or otherwise seeks bids for a new paver stone driveway) 504.
  • Homeowners can broadcast profiles of service providers to that home. For example, if a neighbor is strolling past a house, notices the well kept yard, and wants to know the name of gardening service that keeps that yard so nice, the homeowner's ComCloud can supply the profile data tiles or “Tilz” (digital content format) of the homeowner's gardener, and possibly receive a fee from the gardener for “marketing” the gardener's business—a novel type of search; and a novel type of location-based marketing and advertising.
  • If, for example, a passerby 503 to the homeowner's property, likes the iron work on the homeowner's front gate, the information Tilz may be obtained from the homeowner's Survey Egg ComCloud. And the homeowner may get paid a commission, when an interested party who receives the ironwork gate Tilz, later purchases from that company.
  • When a user has guests over to their house, and the guest admires, say, the new granite countertops, the ComCloud can (if the homeowners wishes) deliver the Tilz of the granite countertop retailer/installer—and thereby possibly receive a marketing commission from the countertop retailer/installer. And the homeowner may get paid another commission if the party who received the Tilz from the Survey Egg/Nut ComCloud, later transacts with the granite countertop retailer/installer.
  • In fact, all contractors who ever worked on a person's house, and manufacturer's for every item a person owns in that house, can pay the homeowner to be on the homeowner's “CloudCast” (the ComCloud broadcast). All items: painting, artwork, silverware, couches, TVs, light fixtures, clothes . . . literally everything that user owns may have a Tilz (a digital profile of that item) that is part of that property's CloudCast.
  • The homeowner's ComCloud can deliver the profile Tilz for any household item, object, plant, tree, etc. the homeowner owns to persons or entities requesting such information, for free or for a fee. ComCloud thereby enables Survey Egg owners to monetize their profiles. For example, an appliance store may wish to pay the user to view that user's household appliance profile; and then pay the user again to send ads, offers, or information as per the user's profile—if the user wishes to receive same, such as when its time to upgrade or replace an item. Or the lawn may need annual aerating. Or the fireplace needs cleaning every 10 years. Companies used to pay middlemen, such as search engines, fees to find potential customers; Survey Eggs and ComCloud may disintermediate such middlemen, and enable the users to get paid instead, while exerting greater control over advertising received.
  • Business owners can use Survey Eggs to broadcast their ComCloud from the property on which their business is located. The ComCloud can deliver ads, offers, information, profiles, and/or coupons to passersby who can receive same via various devices such as a mobile handset 503.
  • With a ComCloud, it's as if that user's house/property/business had its own Myspace page—a profile of that house/property/business. Included in that profile are a Tilz for every single item relevant to that property. For example, every appliance the user owns has its own separate Tilz; there is a Tilz for every contractor who worked on/in that property; a Tilz for every knife, fork, spoon, glass, plate, couch, article of clothing, book, etc. that resides in, or relates to, that property; a Tilz for the housekeeper, pool service company, company that trimmed the trees, etc.
  • Survey Egg ComClouds are of particular relevance in second and third world countries where some villages are not connected to the Internet, but instead rely on peer-to-peer 503 and/or intra-village data coverage.
  • ComCloud broadcasts (CloudCasts) can be geo-limited by the ComCloud management software, which can be controlled via devices such as personal computers or mobile handsets. That is to say, the user may wish to control the distance certain items are CloudCast. The user may wish certain ComCloud items to conceivably be available to the entire world, by various means, such as the Internet. But, for other items, the user may wish those items/profiles/ads/coupons/etc. to be CloudCast no further than 100 meters from the Survey Egg. For example, it's nearly 6 PM and a restaurant has a few empty tables. The restaurant may want to limit their CloudCast ads and coupons, to those parties 504 within a few miles, and thus those who can get there by 6 PM.
  • Having generally described operation of the systems and methods for location establishment and profile-based messaging, various embodiments will be described with respect to FIGS. 1-9.
  • Referring to the accompanying drawings wherein the same reference numerals refer to the same or similar elements:
  • FIG. 1 shows an architecture of an embodiment of an in-situ location sensing system in accordance with the Invention which is designated generally as system 10.
  • System 10, hereafter “Survey Eggs,” consists of the multiple embodiments of in-situ location sensing devices (ILSD) and/or fixed location sensing devices ((FLSD), in addition to a Website 160, mapping and blueprint software (application programming interfaces APIs) 165, server software 170 and 175 and a widget 190 (Webified mini software application) configured for operation with a variety of digital computing devices including mobile handsets. The widget 190 enables users to engage and manage a number of location-based services the Survey Eggs engender. The Website 160 (and/or widget 190) contains, in addition to survey related features and functions, social networking tools such as profiles, comment sharing, blogging, chat, message boards, media sharing, social mapping and tagging/geo-tagging. Finally, there are online and offline tools for broadcasting profiles 170 and 185 via means such as the Internet, and various non-Internet means such as Bluetooth (such means collectively referred to hereafter as “CloudCasting”).
  • In embodiments remotely-programmable Survey Eggs 100 contain a microprocessor 101, NAND chip flash storage capacity 101 and a Linux-based operating system or other operating system compatible with the Survey Eggs software 180. Various electronic interfaces including input/output IO ports, direct memory access (DMA) circuitry, etc. are not included in the schematic of FIG. 1 as such interfaces are well known to those skilled in the art. Survey Eggs 100 are configured with global positioning satellite (GPS) facilities and software for management thereof, including transmission of location information to local and remote sources. A module is configured to perform calculations pursuant to differential distance figuring, with particular regard to other Survey Eggs 100, as well as mobile and fixed objects such as GPS-equipped mobile handsets and cell site towers respectively.
  • Survey Eggs 100 embodiments sans GPS are provided, configured to be placed in key points of a structure, property, object or other thing, and to thereby triangulate (or otherwise fix) its location by utilizing at least three external location-established devices or other things, such that the location and/or physical makeup of the structure, property, object or other thing may be determined. A module is configured such that digital blueprints may be automatically generated and published based in part upon the prior determined data. A broadcast module is configured to transmit and/or receive messages/data of various types based upon a plurality of factors such as location and/or profile. Such an embodiment is hereafter referred to as “Survey Nuts.”
  • Survey Eggs server-side facilities 180 are provided. A profile serving and matching facility 170 is configured to transmit profiles to/from Survey Eggs 100 as well as other remote devices. The profile serving and matching facility 170 includes algorithms configured to filter and match a plurality of available ads/offers/information/et. al. (configured into data “tiles” or the homonym thereto, data “Tilz”) based upon metadata for each such ads/offers/information, against profiles of items a user has indicated a desire to receive (or not) ads/offer/information for. A database server 175 facilitates user profiles and preferences, as well as a rules facility by which certain actions must accord. A report creation and transmission module is configured to accept data from Survey Eggs 100 and remote sources, and therefrom produce and transmit ordered datasets such as boundary surveys and the legal descriptions thereof, to remote entities such as governing agencies. A module is configured for storage, reception, transmission and (static) broadcast 185 of messages and other data, and in particular those data configured into profiles (a module hereafter referred to as “ComCloud”). The ComCloud module includes profile creation, filtering, and matching facilities. In embodiments, one of more of the plurality of facilities/modules described in the present paragraph are configured for operation directly on/by the Survey Eggs 100.
  • Survey Eggs widget client-side facilities 190 are provided configured for operation on mobile handsets 190 and other devices. A report creation and transmission module is configured to accept data to/from Survey Eggs 100 and remote sources, and therefrom produce and transmit ordered datasets such as boundary surveys, and the legal descriptions thereof, to remote entities such as governing agencies. A ComCloud module is configured for operation by the Survey Eggs widget.
  • Users create new or update existing profiles by a plurality of means, including, for instance, scanning an ad in a newspaper for an item a user is interested in. The scan results in a query which returns a data/profile tile (Tilz), about the subject item, to the user's mobile handset 190. For example, if the user scanned an ad for an automatic driveway gate, and received the Tilz for same, the client-side Survey Eggs widget 190 queries the user as to whether or not the user would like to receive ads/offers/information pertaining to automatic driveway gates. The user's profile is updated presently by (the Survey Eggs client-side software on the user's mobile device 190, and/or) the Survey Eggs server-side facilities 180, which receive transmission of the query results via a plurality of communication modalities 185. The user's updated profile is returned therefrom to the user's Survey Eggs widget 190 and the Survey Eggs 100 for inclusion in the user's profile broadcast 185 (ComCloud). The ComCloud 185 can be configured for various broadcast distances from global to just a few feet. For example, the Survey Eggs 100 ComCloud 185 may be configured for use via Bluetooth, which has limited range. Bluetooth range may be sufficient however to reach contractors driving by a particular Survey Eggs 100-equipped property, who might otherwise be able to provision and install the user-desired automatic driveway gate (and effect the transaction pursuant thereto via ComCloud).
  • In embodiments, local passersby via Bluetooth (or other means) or remote users via the Internet (or other means) may broadcast their profiles in such a fashion that a Survey Eggs 100 ComCloud 185 can facilitate matches that may lead to novel interactions and transactions.
  • In embodiments, Survey Eggs software facilities may be configured as a Web-based application 160.
  • FIG. 2 illustrates an embodiment of the compact, secure, waterproof, weatherproof device enclosure 201. For purposes of installation, maintenance, repair or other general physical interaction, the device enclosure may be opened to reveal several interface modalities. Users with clean, dry hands may wish to avail themselves of the touchscreen interface 202 to interact with the device. The user is presented with a menu driven command structure to initialize the unit, and set its various operating parameters. For example, the unit may operate as a standalone unit, or in conjunction with other Survey Eggs. If there are more than one Survey Egg on a given property each Survey Egg must be assigned a canonical order number, to facilitate commands that are serial in nature (as opposed to commands that all Survey Eggs may execute at once, in parallel).
  • For those instances, when the user interacting with the Survey Egg, may be wearing gloves, and/or may have wet or muddy hands, they may interact with the Survey Egg via a finger wheel menu selector 203.
  • In order to facilitate repair or other tasks, the faceplate 204 is removed, to reveal the sub-enclosure 205, which features another moisture seal gasket. The mechanical interface 208 to the faceplate 204, illustrates some of the various customizable feature attachment/interface facilities, that differ for various embodiments of the Invention. Such attachments may include various types of meteorologic, gas, and/or flow sensors (among other types of attachments).
  • Licensed Installation
  • FIG. 3 Survey Eggs can be installed by anyone, however only licensed surveyor-installed Survey Eggs have legal merit. Survey Eggs are generally installed by personnel such as State licensed survey engineers, and all Survey Eggs and spikes (“Eggposts”) 304 so installed, have an electronic (Tilz) and/or physical tag with the survey engineer's survey license number, and survey date. If installed by someone other than a licensed surveyor, they do not have legal merit vis a vis County/State/National Property Assessor's offices.
  • Survey Eggs can be installed below grade, at grade, or above grade using a spike 304 (made from materials such as composite plastics and/or metal) of varying sizes (including 10 centimeters to 10 meters, for medium/deep-water applications). The spike 304 can be driven into the ground to support the Survey Egg and keep it in place. The spike 304 may be fitted with a weatherproof and waterproof Survey Egg holder 201 on top, and a special lock requiring a special type key (serial numbered and made available only to licensed surveyors) or electronic code to open.
  • FIG. 4 In order to provide more accurate location information than may be available via GPS alone, a Survey Eggs installation by a licensed surveyor may proceed as follows: The surveyor locates the boundary points of a property using conventional survey techniques and instruments. However, instead of simply driving wooden stakes into the ground to mark, say, the corners of the subject property, the surveyor installs Survey Eggs at each corner 403, 404, 405, 406).
  • Survey Eggs can be networked 185, either via hardline or wirelessly. Survey Eggs typically utilize WiFi for connectivity, but are compatible with several other networking protocols (see Internet Service and Networking Protocols below). Survey Eggs can broadcast their position to the Survey Egg Website 160 where the Survey Egg software produces an online map of the property. This map can be combined or mashed-up with online mapping services.
  • Each Survey Egg is assigned its own unique identification number, which is also its IP address. This IP address is the location from which the Survey Egg data can be monitored.
  • A boundary survey for a person's property 402, for example, can be performed by a plurality of means, including starting from a known point in a city, such as City Hall, which is frequently marked by a survey monument. A survey monument is often a metal plaque affixed to the street or sidewalk. The survey team then moves from survey monument to survey monument, utilizing a combination of laser-based and GPS survey instruments (and possibly other traditional survey instrumentation). Then, depending upon the survey methodology employed, the survey team follows the legal description to locate the first point 403 on the subject property 402 boundary line. After establishing the first boundary point, each of the successive boundary points 404, 405, and 406 are established (again depending upon the survey methodology employed).
  • As each boundary point is established, the surveyor installs and initializes the Survey Egg, and assigns it a canonical sequence number. Initializing consists of turning the Survey Egg power on, whereupon the Survey Egg follows a pre-programmed sequence of instructions to start up the Survey Egg software, and then, in some embodiments, establish its position by interrogating various GPS satellites. The surveyor can then rely upon the GPS location established by the installed Survey Egg, or alternatively, the surveyor can establish the position of a given boundary point, without employing the Survey Egg GPS location information, and then program this surveyor-established location into the Survey Egg, via manual interaction with the Survey Egg control panel 204 or via other means such as the Survey Eggs website 160 or widget 190.
  • Once initialized Survey Eggs automatically calculate distance to all other Survey Eggs (which can be limited to just those Survey Eggs on the subject property, if desired). Vis a vis the successive sequence numbered Survey Eggs, the Survey Eggs calculate the distance of each of the boundary line distances, such as from 403 to 404, and then, optionally, compare this calculated figure to the parcel map distance or even the legal description distance (if available in machine-readable format).
  • Upon completion of the boundary point/line establishment and calculation process, the Survey Egg software 180 then is ready to file an electronic Record of Survey (ROS), with the appropriate government agency (or other interested/authorized party/entity). Some survey companies charge a thousand dollars or more just to file the ROS, costs which the use of Survey Eggs may reduce.
  • There may be cases where discrepancies arise between one survey and another, or between a given survey and, say, the town parcel map 401. If, for instance, a court or other authoritative body, rules that the boundary point locations need to be altered, this can be accomplished remotely via the Survey Eggs Website 160 or widget 190, without need to physically be at the site 402, or to physically move the installed Survey Eggs, since an offset can be programmed into the Survey Egg location data.
  • FIG. 5 Once installed, the Survey Eggs can perform a number of functions and services. The scope of these functions and services may be determined, limited or enhanced, by the type of Survey Egg connectivity the property owner opts for. The property owner may utilize communication modalities built in to Survey Eggs such as Bluetooth to generate a broadcast of profiles (or other information or digital content), hereafter “ComCloud.” Alternatively, if the property owner has WiFi coverage that reaches the Survey Eggs, the Survey Eggs may also, or alternatively, utilize the Internet to broadcast their ComCloud (hereafter “CloudCast”). Also a user might choose to pay a monthly fee to utilize connectivity supplied by a third party, such as a wireless carrier. Users don't have to pay any entity for any type of connectivity for Survey Eggs to perform a boundary locating and marking function. Survey Eggs can be installed, say underground, then located manually, by a plurality of means, such as passing a mobile handset over the approximate location of the Survey Eggs, and listening for a staccato beep which increases in frequency as a user gets closer to being right over a buried Survey Egg; and becomes a static tone, when atop a Survey Egg.
  • The uses for a Survey Egg powered ComCloud are manifold (see Summary of Invention above, and Applications and Use Cases below, for exemplifying examples). For instance, a user might wish to socially network with others via their ComCloud broadcast (CloudCast) by posting various pictures, status updates, etc. for selected passersby to view. Users could expand the range of possible viewers by utilizing the Survey Egg's Internet connection to CloudCast their profiles to any interested party. Survey Egg users can choose, for instance, to have a limited-range Bluetooth CloudCast, to interact with people walking by 501. Passersby 503, can view the Survey Egg CloudCast to look for items of interest manually, or if the passerby has their own ComCloud, profile matches can be performed automatically. Let's say the property owner has an old inflatable kiddie pool in the garage they'd by happy to get rid of. But its too much hassle for a $5 item such as this, to post on a traditional Internet commerce site. The property owner could instead add the profile (a digital tile of information about that object, hereafter “Tilz”) of the kiddie pool to their Survey Egg ComCloud, and CloudCast its availability to just those persons who live or pass nearby (via various means such as Bluetooth). If a neighbor has a need for a kiddie pool, this may be a great way to obtain one with minimum expenditure of time and money, and possibly create an opportunity to meet and interact with a neighbor. Social networking, interacting and transacting, literally from an ILSD (in-situ location sensing device), is unique to the present Invention.
  • Survey Egg CloudCasts can also interact with drivers 504 driving by 502 the subject property to accomplish things that would otherwise take the property owner some amount of time expenditure. For instance, if the property owner wanted a paver stone driveway to replace their existing asphalt driveway, they could create an RFP (request for proposals) Tilz, seeking bids by paver stone contractors. Such an RFP Tilz could be viewed (if the property owner wished) only by licensed contractors, and further by contractors who have installed paver stone driveways before, or meet certain customer rating levels. That is to say, Survey Eggs give time back to their owners, who might otherwise have to spend hours searching for paver stone driveway contractors. Instead, when a Survey Egg owner wants or needs something, they simply place a Tilz related to same, in their ComCloud, and the information sought, comes to them, automatically.
  • FIG. 6 Survey Eggs 602 can establish their location by a plurality of means. For instance, Survey Eggs can triangulate 604 (or otherwise establish) their location via other location-established devices such as WiFi towers 601 or cellular carrier cell site towers (especially those whose location coordinates may have been surveyor-established). Additionally, Survey Eggs can establish their location via triangulation (or other means) of other location-establishing devices 603, such as other Survey Eggs. Survey Eggs can also establish their location via (realtime or otherwise) location datasets available via the Internet (or other means).
  • FIG. 7 Survey Eggs 703 can also establish their location via triangulation of cell site towers or interrogation of GPS satellites 701. However, since GPS location accuracy is purposely limited by various government agencies, Survey Eggs can establish their location with even more precision than traditional GPS, by means of dynamic GPS (hereafter dGPS).
  • The U.S. government, has for military security reasons, limited GPS accuracy to about 20 meters (a recent improvement (authorized in the year 2000) from the prior accuracy of about 100 meters). 20 meter accuracy is nowhere near sufficient for property surveys which may require accuracy on the order of centimeters. Survey Eggs establish their location by a plurality of means, including triangulating their location against other Survey Eggs and surveyor-located fixed objects. This calculation is performed onboard the Survey Egg, but also may be performed utilizing the Survey Egg software 165 on the user's PC, via the widget 190 on the user's digital device, or via the Survey Egg Website 159 and 160. The Survey Egg Website archives this more-accurate-than-GPS-alone data, and can provide this information to other devices. This calculation can be performed at user-set intervals, so that Survey Eggs can (always) have the best location information available. The GPS location of all Survey Eggs and GPS-located objects gets more and more accurate, as GPS-located objects update, in realtime, their 20-meter accurate location, vis a vis more accurate surveyor-established location information. And location accuracy increases as the number of Survey Eggs installed increases (since Survey Eggs can share positional location information with other Survey Eggs). Location information is dynamically updated, hence dGPS.
  • Other factors also inform the need for a more accurate GPS location system. The universe is dynamic and changing in size and shape. Our solar system is moving through space, as well as changing size. The sun is moving at better than 200 kilometers per second. The earth wobbles on its axis. These facts are materially important, as GPS satellites establish their position in space by means of earth and sun sensors (which have their own host of limitations). Continental drift is inexorable. Additionally, the earth's crust is in constant motion. In earthquake prone areas, portions of land shift with respect to other portions of land. Thus distances should be recalculated. The earth's crust is dynamic, so any location-establishing system that is not dynamic is inherently inaccurate.
  • Accordingly, an improved GPS system is desired to address these inherent location-determining deficiencies. A network of location-sensing devices, that also locate themselves via geometric triangulation from surveyor location-established fixed objects (e.g. cell site towers), and from each other, produces a more accurate system, with what may be an order of magnitude (or more) better accuracy than the currently allowed GPS accuracy.
  • Unlike some GPS devices, Survey Eggs can also report their position back to GPS satellites 701 (which are generally not equipped to process such information). A dynamic-GPS “dPGS” system, such as the Survey Eggs network, is more accurate and grows more accurate as each Survey Egg is added. Survey Eggs can report their position information to each other, and continuously update and improve their position accuracy. And, Survey Eggs can dynamically update all subscribed dependencies: other Survey Eggs 703, online maps, assessor subdivision maps 401, GPS systems 701, et. al., as well as other devices 603, and/or other embodiments of Survey Eggs 603.
  • FIG. 8 Information gathered by the Survey Egg is viewable in a number of locations. Users can view the data display on the Survey Egg itself 202. Additionally, the data can be viewed remotely via the Survey Egg Website 160 or widget 190. Users might wish to attach various items to their Survey Egg(s), such as an anemometer or temperature or rainfall gauge. Other attachment examples are discussed below in more detail. Attaching various sensors to a plurality of Survey Eggs may result in a swarm of intelligent connected devices able to broadcast and share datasets, for purposes such as environmental analytics.
  • FIG. 9 shows an architecture of an embodiment of wherein Survey Eggs, in accordance with the Invention, have been installed at a commercial location, and which are transmitting the profile of said business; and which architecture is designated generally as system 900.
  • Yogurt Store 919, Pizza Place 920 and Dry Cleaner 921 have each installed one or more Survey Eggs (or other Invention embodiments). Survey Eggs broadcast the aforementioned businesses' profiles 916, 917, 918, via a plurality of means including WiFi, cellular carrier network, Bluetooth, and other communication modalities. These profiles might include (but not be limited to) items such as ads 913, offers, coupons 912, and other information 914 related to that business. Businesses could, for example, broadcast their actual realtime inventory levels 908 of each item they carry.
  • Rather than bombard each user 903 or entity 909 within reach of that business' broadcast, the businesses employ the Invention's profile matching facility 907, wherein the businesses profiles are matched against the profiles 905 of the user 902 or entities receiving the profile broadcast.
  • As per the present exemplifying architecture (FIG. 9), the user 902 happens to be broadcasting the user's profiles via Bluetooth via the user's mobile handset 901. According to the user's profile 905 the user is unwilling to receive yogurt coupons 912 or dry cleaning information 914; whereupon like items are rejected by the Invention's profile matching facility—the yogurt coupon is rejected 911, and thereby does not attempt to gain the user's attention or clutter up the user's profile; and similarly the dry cleaning information is rejected 915.
  • On the other hand, the user's profile 905 is amenable to pizza ads 913, and thus a match 922 is accorded by the Invention's profile matching facility 907. Thus that pizza ad 906 is transmitted to the user's profile 905. Depending upon the user's preference profile, the user might view the ad right away, or, for example, that pizza ad 906 might be inserted into a commercial break when the user 902 is watching television later that night.
  • Furthermore, the pizza ad can be presented in a plurality of digital formats, including Tilz (which are a transactable objects), and thus, for example, upon viewing the ad, the user 902 could choose to order a pizza, and pay for same via the user's digital device 901 (via said Tilz).
  • Other embodiments are envisioned, wherein entities other than businesses such as other people, government entities, objects, machines, and other entities, might utilize a version of system 900 (or other embodiments of the Invention) in order to interact and transact with various entities.
  • In many cases, however, some/all entities involved broadcast the profiles of their wants and needs 904, 908, including, for instance, the various products/services the entities utilize/offer, and the Invention thereby facilitates interaction and transactions by matching said profiles.
  • These and other objects and features of the present Invention may become more fully apparent from the following description and appended claims, or may be learned by the description and practice of the Invention as set forth hereinafter.
  • Gotz Dotz
  • Gotz Dotz are an embodiment of Survey Eggs. Gotz Dotz also comprise a wireless service network (method) to store and transmit geo-based data. In embodiments, Gotz Dotz serve as replacement for Botts' dots on highways to divide lanes of traffic. Compact, secure, waterproof, reflective, location aware, intelligent path marking units, Gotz Dotz are rounded raised plastic, ceramic or polyester (or other materials) domes (or other shapes) that serve as road lane (pavement) markers. Gotz Dotz are primarily utilized in commercial, municipal, and federal applications. Gotz Dotz can also help establish locations of roads in countries where reliable digital maps don't exist. Once in place, Gotz Dotz can automatically create digital maps for the area traversed by that road, path, sidewalk or trail marked by Gotz Dotz.
  • Gotz Dotz can establish location information via GPS and other means such as triangulation. In embodiments, Gotz Dotz can monitor traffic flow/speed, and can provide warnings such as vehicles veering out of lanes (e.g. when users may be falling asleep at the wheel). Gotz Dotz can interact with a car's navigation system or other onboard digital devices, such as a user's mobile handset. Gotz Dotz can act as Web Drop data points: users traveling along a road for instance, can get and leave location-based information. Users frustrated by the daily heavy traffic at a particular intersection can leave a complaint for city officials, actually at that location via the Gotz Dotz. Users can simply speak their message to their mobile handset, which creates a query data tile (Tilz), which is sent to the Gotz Dotz at that location. Gotz Dotz store information about items related to that location/area including, for example: “Stoplights are currently not timed and should be corrected by the City by the end of March.” Government road maintenance organizations can leave information there, actually in those Gotz Dotz, that can be accessed via Bluetooth, WiFi, cellular radio, or other means. Furthermore, other motorists can leave comments and complaints as well as answer each other's questions, directly via the Gotz Dotz.
  • Gotz Dotz are the Survey Eggs embodiments for highways and can perform the same/similar functions as per the descriptions below. In embodiments radio frequency identification RFID is built-into Gotz Dotz. Gotz Dotz are powered by a plurality of means such as: low cost solar cells, heat of the pavement, impact energy of vehicles driving over them, radio waves, et. al. Each Gotz Dotz has its own identification ID number, which is also its IP address, and which is captured in an IP barcode. Gotz Dotz data handoff: transceive to/from available wired/wireless networks, sync to/from passing cars (Bluetooth, WiFi, RFID), communicate with emergency roadside phones (as a means of transmitting information back to central servers, or outside applications or other networks), et. al. Regarding syncing to passing cars, users can hand off profiles and Tilz as they pass by. Gotz Dotz then seek out profile matches and can return results further up the road. Users could sell their sofa, for instance, by driving down the road, and having Gotz Dotz match up that Sofa Sell profile with another user who has a Sofa Sought profile. Gotz Dotz are transactable nodes. Users don't have to make the dangerous walk down the highway to get to the nearest emergency roadside phone, as Gotz Dotz can act as mini relay stations enabling such (VOIP) phone calls to be made.
  • Survey Nuts
  • Survey Nuts are an embodiment of Survey Eggs. Survey Nuts are roughly the size of peanuts, although other sizes are also contemplated. They contain a smaller version of Survey Egg electronics with differing functionality and features. Survey Nuts automatically locate themselves and broadcast their position. They do not use satellite GPS to locate themselves, instead triangulating from three or more of the boundary Survey Eggs (or other objects which have location-established themselves) to establish their position. Survey Nuts location data can be sent via low power repeater to the designated central base-station Survey Egg.
  • Survey Nuts usually have to be within a 10 to 100 meter distance (Bluetooth range) of at least three Survey Eggs to triangulate the location of that Survey Nut. Survey Nuts optionally equipped with sonic pinging or radio telemetry can triangulate to Survey Eggs from distances greater than 100 meters. Alternatively, a Survey Nut can triangulate its location from three or more Survey Nuts which have already established their location via one of the means discussed above.
  • Survey Nuts are in-situ location establishing devices (or FLSDs). Survey Nuts consist of a Website, mapping and blueprint software (application programming interfaces APIs), server software, and a widget (Webified mini software application). The widget enables users to engage and manage a number of location-based services, that Survey Nuts engender. There are also online/offline tools for CloudCasting profiles, comments, blogging, message boards, media sharing, social mapping and tagging/geo-tagging. Each remotely programmable Survey/Nut contains a microprocessor, flash storage, and an operating system. Survey Nuts determine relative location.
  • Absolute Vs Relative Location
  • Survey Eggs are absolute. A single Survey Egg can establish its position without need for any other Survey Eggs or Survey Nuts.
  • Survey Nuts are relative. Survey Nuts establish their position relative to other Survey Nuts and/or other Survey Eggs and/or other objects which have had their locations established.
  • In embodiments, Survey Nuts are intended to be placed (during construction) in every corner and key point of structures such as buildings, bridges, dams, and facilities (such as airports, schools, etc.). Once in place, Survey Nuts can provide a three dimensional electronic blueprint 195 for the subject structure, via the Survey Egg client/server software or by uploading the resultant location data to third party architecture/drawing software programs.
  • Survey Nuts can be installed by anyone (homeowners, contractors building a house/sidewalk/pool, etc.)—i.e. they do not require a licensed surveyor, though their installation may be certified by a licensed architect and/or contractor (or other person/entity) for an additional imprimatur of credibility and accuracy.
  • Field Locatable
  • Survey Eggs are field locatable, via wireless mobile device, including non-GPS devices, using protocols such as Bluetooth, RFID, and WiFi. Users are not required to have Internet service. If users desire realtime monitoring, they can utilize connectivity from by wireless carriers, or WiFi at the home/office/property, or (tethering) via Bluetooth from mobile devices, or other means. Both Survey Eggs and Survey Nuts can be field-located by using a GPS-equipped mobile handset (or other devices). They can also be located by a non-GPS, Bluetooth-equipped wireless mobile handset which can transceive signals with the Survey Egg/Nut (without need for Internet access). The mobile handset user may hear a series of staccato beeps, which becomes a solid tone when the mobile handset is immediately above/below the Survey Egg/Nut. Thus surveyors and contractors and property owners, as they walk near the Survey Eggs (which may be buried in the ground), can locate the boundary points to the subject building, plot of land, road, bridge, mountaintop, etc. Other network protocols such as RFID and WiFi may also be used to field-locate Survey Eggs.
  • Internet Service
  • Survey Egg users are not required to have any ongoing Internet service contract. However if they desire real-time monitoring, Survey Eggs can utilize Internet connectivity from such sources as: Cellphone service providers or wireless carriers, WiFi at the home/office/property, and/or Free local/municipal WiFi service.
  • Providing the network for Survey Egg CloudCasts may result in the carrier receiving a cut of all the software, services, and transactions revenue therefrom. As customers drop their landlines in favor of wireless, Survey Eggs (in embodiments) become the Web Drops that connect to existing landlines, and become the wireless nodes to interface with the landline and/or broadband providers' ubiquitous WiFi service. Then those entities may participate in the software, services and transaction income on that network.
  • Networking Protocols
  • Survey Eggs feature networking capabilities: WLAN (wireless local area network such as WiFi), and/or WMAN (wireless MAN such as the recently published IEEE 802.16 spec) and/or WWAN (wireless wide area network such as GPRS). Survey Eggs/Nuts are Bluetooth and RFID compatible. Optional weatherproof external connectors include: a standard Ethernet adapter and a HomePlug 1.0 spec adapter (utilizing a power line to supply both power and Internet connectivity).
  • Solar Power
  • Survey Eggs contain a lithium-ion (or other type of) battery, which can be solar sustained 302.
  • Survey Egg options include:
    Solar cell panel on the skyfacing surface of the Survey Egg for those Survey Eggs to be located above ground.
    Remote solar panel (of various sizes, including 5″×5″) that attaches to the Survey Egg via weatherproof external connector, for those Survey Eggs located underground, or those above ground but in a shady spot. The solar panel option currently includes various wire choices up to 30 meters in length.
  • Solar Powered Extranet
  • For those users who choose to set up and broadcast their own extranet (sans any external Internet service), a separate solar powered battery option is available FIG. 3. This larger capacity, higher voltage battery almost fills the volume of an entire Survey Egg (in some embodiments) and is powered by one or more of the same optional solar cell grids as regular Survey Eggs.
  • The solar Survey Egg always draws its power from the solar cell and its separate rechargeable lithium-ion battery, until the voltage drops below an acceptable level, at which point the Survey Egg automatically switches to the primary lithium-ion battery. The Survey Egg runs on the primary battery until the solar powered battery is once again capable of delivering a minimum pre-set voltage, at which point the automatic switch re-engages the solar battery.
  • High Power Survey Eggs Vs Low Power Survey Eggs
  • High power Survey Eggs use GPS technology to directly triangulate from GPS satellites.
  • Low power Survey Eggs triangulate from local sources with known locations such as WiFi hotspots and cell phone towers.
  • Geo-Tag Databases
  • Most new WiFi hotspots and cell phone towers are now geo-tagged as to their coordinates or GPS location. Online databases of these locations are utilized by Survey Eggs for triangulation calculations (FIG. 6).
  • Data Broadcast
  • Survey Eggs produce a user-selectable set of broadcast data such as the Survey Egg ID number its coordinates/location, and the remaining battery charge. Other (related) information may also be uploaded and broadcast such as easements that are near this Survey Egg, building restrictions (such as sight line preservation), parcel or tax ID numbers, property owner contact info, installation survey company contact info, etc. (as well as other data types).
  • Femtocell
  • One or more Survey Eggs on a property can be programmed to work in conjunction with, or even contain, a pico- or femto-cell digital signal processor. (A femtocell is a miniature cellular base station often about the size of a home wireless router, and with a similar range) Though femtocells are being used to dramatically improve cellphone service (faster downloads, clearer calls and less drain on the battery) Survey Eggs can also take advantage of a femtocell a user has installed in their home/office/building/structure to provide continuous connection to the Internet and improve battery life. An option is available to locate a femtocell inside a Survey Egg. The resultant “Femto Egg” is generally placed inside the structure (rather than outside in the ground) and plugged via Ethernet cable directly into the user's broadband connection.
  • Radiation Shielding
  • All Survey Eggs and Nuts feature substantial radiation shielding. The sun routinely experiences cycles of sunspot activity. Solar Cycle 23, is experiencing peak activity that is expected to decay gradually over the next few years, before building again for the next solar cycle. There is concern that some of the most powerful solar storms in decades could arrive during the next solar cycle. A sunspot is an area of intense magnetic activity on the surface of the sun. During a solar storm, highly charged particles ejected from the sun may head toward Earth, where they can bring down power grids and disrupt communications.
  • Sensor Options
  • Survey Eggs optionally contain user-selectable sensors of various types to monitor such items as: humidity, temperature, radiation, and gases such as carbon dioxide, etc. (FIG. 8).
  • Alternate-Use Optional Attachments
  • Survey Eggs can also be connected to other optional attachments:
    Anti-gopher/mole underground signal generators (which produce an unpleasant noise/vibration which may drive away some unwanted rodents).
    Invisible pet fences (attach a Survey Nut to a pet's collar to limit or track the pet's whereabouts (display the location data on the user's mobile handset). Alternatively, Survey Eggs can provide the wireless signal to a collar worn around the pet's neck, which delivers a small shock if the pet tries to cross the property boundary line).
  • Egg Customization
  • Survey Eggs/Nuts can be customized and personalized by users via the use of skins. Skins are stickers/decals that can be applied to the Survey Egg/Nut that offer the user a plurality of colors, patterns, photos, logos, etc.
  • Corporations might pay users to display the company's logo—sponsored Eggs. Such fees might be utilized to reduce an Survey Egg/Nut monthly fees, if any.
  • Dimensional diagrams for skins are supplied on the Survey Eggs website, so that all users have to do is upload a graphical image to the website for cropping as per the dimensions of the Survey Eggs/Nuts diagrams. Users can also download the dimensional diagrams to a digital device and software of their choice to further customize their skins.
  • Users then print out the stickers/decals at their own printers or professional print shops.
  • ComCloud Customization
  • Users can also customize the ComCloud message broadcast by each Survey Egg.
  • Each Survey Egg has on-board storage for users to download text, images, audio or video files, or other items to. When passersby walk near the user's Survey Eggs with a mobile handset configured to receive such data, the passersby may receive the user's ComCloud broadcast while in range (503). The Survey Egg may also deliver a digital file to passersby's mobile handsets, if both the user and the passersby have selected those profile settings.
  • Examples of such extranet customization include the ability to offer “ringtones” for a property (a song clip played for passersby on their mobile handset), or the user's kids singing, photos of a property owner/family, and social networking-type profiles of the property owner Akin to a social network profile for a user's house, but in the real, offline, world. Users can limit which entities, others, devices and/or profiles are allowed to view various content.
  • And all types of ComCloud broadcasts can be accomplished with or without means such as the Internet or wireless carrier service, since ComCloud broadcasts may be effected via modalities such as Bluetooth.
  • Dashboard Control Panel
  • Users interact with their Survey Eggs/Nuts via a control panel, where the user can perform managerial functions such as:
  • Naming and/or numbering each Survey Egg/Nut.
    Numerically ordering each Survey Egg/Nut.
    Via a graphical connect-the-dots type tool, users can delineate which Eggs/Nuts should calculate distances from which other Eggs/Nuts. The result of this is an online map representing the user's Eggs/Nuts in a two or three dimensional map. This map can be mashed with various online maps.
  • Security
  • Among other security features, Survey Eggs are programmed to stop working if moved more than a pre-selected distance from their SET position, unless provided an override RESET code by a licensed survey engineer. The security shutdown distance can currently be set by users to be any distance from three centimeters to three meters. The SET FAULT signal is immediately broadcast to the Survey Eggs' owner if such a violation occurs.
  • Applications and Use Cases
  • To further clarify the above and other advantages and features of the present Invention, more particular descriptions of the Invention will be rendered by reference to specific embodiments thereof which are, in some cases, illustrated in the appended drawings. It is appreciated that these drawings and descriptions depict only typical embodiments of the Invention and are therefore not to be considered limiting of its scope. The Invention will be described and explained with additional specificity and detail via the following applications and use cases.
  • Automatic Legal Descriptions of Properties
  • Survey Eggs in the corners or boundary points of a user's property not only inform the subdivision map but may also create an accurate legal description suitable for submission to, for instance, the County Assessor's Office. Each Survey Egg calculates the distance between itself, and all the other Survey Eggs on the property. It performs this task generally once per day (or any other user selectable interval, such as every second or once per year). Each of the Survey Egg coordinates is wirelessly transmitted via the Internet to the designated Website (or other location/device). Using the Survey Egg control panel the surveyor clicks on the Survey Eggs on the digital map in a sequential manner, assigning each Survey Egg an ordered number for that property (403, 404, 405, 406). The Survey Egg software then calculates each of the distances between the now sequentially numbered boundary points, and automatically produces a Metes and Bounds (or other type of) legal description of the property. For example, starting at the Northeast corner of the subject property (at Survey Egg #1), proceed 47.39 meters south (to Survey Egg #2), then turn West and head 124.69 meters . . . etc.
  • Cross corner distances are also calculated to ensure that in the case, say, of rectangular property plots, that all proposed boundary line angles are at 90 degrees.
  • Electronic ROS Filing
  • Survey Eggs can automatically, wirelessly file the Record of Survey (ROS) with the appropriate (governing) entities. An ROS can be filed electronically at County Assessor's Offices by means such as simply by sending a link to the online map displaying the surveyor-installed Survey Eggs. Assessor's Offices can, among other options, download the data set for the plot in question into their own electronic map software. This can reduce the substantial expense (in addition to the cost of the boundary survey) to property owners that surveyors charge for the filing of the ROS.
  • Detailed Landscape Surveys
  • Survey Eggs/Nuts/ and/or Gotz Dotz can be used to locate the edges of every road, sidewalk, and trail on the planet, as well as trees, shrubs, lawns, pools, ponds, et. al.
  • Fence Locating
  • Fence builders can simply pass their RFID, GPS or Bluetooth equipped mobile handset over the suspected plot corners, to easily, quickly, inexpensively and accurately locate boundary lines, along which to build the fence.
  • Government Territory Boundary Markers
  • Survey Eggs could be used to delineate, mark, and/or CloudCast the boundaries for government owned land: the boundary for every city (in the world), the boundary for every county (in the world), the boundary for every state (in the world), the boundary for every country (in the world), and the boundary for every National Park, State Park, City Park, National Forest, Bureau of Land Management land, etc. (in the world).
  • Survey Eggs can be located at every boundary direction inflection point, as well, for instance, as one Survey Egg every kilometer.
  • Parkland Marking
  • National, State, County and City Parks can mark their hiking and backpacking trails. Forest Service dirt roads can also be marked. Complex rock climbing areas can be marked: Buttermilk Boulders in Bishop, Calif. has over 11,000 boulder problems (climbs) in a few square miles area. Survey Eggs could precisely mark each problem and enable climbers to quickly navigate to desired boulders, and routes thereon.
  • Map Companies
  • Online map companies plus government map producers such as the U.S. Geological Survey all can subscribe to or offer to their customers select ComCloud data provided by the Survey Eggs in the field. This enables, for example, the satellite view from Google Maps to zoom in and show subdivision plot maps, and even display individual plot boundary demarcations.
  • Development Story Poles
  • Temporary Survey Eggs/EggPosts can be placed as “story poles” to show where new buildings, roads, sidewalks, etc. will be located, allowing easy and accurate locators which developers can use to lay out the proposed development. Additionally such electronic story poles can be utilized by neighbors to the development who may want to present challenges to the development. The resultant data (CloudCast) from the story poles allows the relevant development information to be shared electronically with all interested parties—such as the lawyers and/or surveyors of neighbors—without the considerable expense of such parties having to make their way to the property in person.
  • Reverse Local Advertising
  • Homeowners can broadcast reverse ads 504. For instance, if homeowners wanted to change their blacktop driveway to a paver stone driveway, they could put out a notice on their ComCloud that they are accepting bids for paver driveway installations. Contractors who are driving by could receive the reverse local ad on their mobile handset, stop, and get out of their truck to take the measurements needed to provide a bid—which can be submitted electronically via the homeowner's ComCloud.
  • Examples of reverse ads, or solicitations for bids, from a home/business ComCloud include:
  • Charge a contractor to respond to a Request for Proposal (RFP) for a paver stone driveway.
    Charge a painter to send the following solicitation directly to a user's home: “I see your house needs painting, especially where it is peeling on the western facade.” The painter can do this via the ComCloud without needing to know information such as the user's email address.
    Charge a realtor to send the message: “I have a buyer interested in your house.”
  • If a house needs a new roof, just as a person might change their social status to “single” after breaking up, the house status can be changed to “Needs new roof” to solicit bids for same. A Survey Egg ComCloud enables messaging similar to social status updates, but for a house/property/business.
  • These are but a few examples of a nearly limitless number of ways in which a Survey Eggs ComCloud can become a source of income for the user.
  • Property Inventory Merchandising
  • Users, via Survey Eggs, can sell access to property profiles or property owner profiles (which may be CloudCast) to various parties. For example, property owners can post Tilz of items they own to the property's Survey Egg ComCloud. Thereby companies can pay the user (first to view and review the profiles/Tilz, and then) to make offers to upgrade or replace an item (when it's time) as per the user's ad and coupon profiles. Examples might include: clothes, placemats, sheets, lightbulbs, et. al. which need replacing from time to time. Commercial properties or businesses can offer their items for sale without need for a conventional art Website.
  • Location-Based Advertising
  • Business owners can use Survey Eggs (located at the boundary corners of their commercial establishment) to broadcast their commerce cloud (ComCloud) which can deliver, for instance, ads and coupons to passersby via mobile handset. A yogurt shop, for example, could send out coupons for their daily special flavor in, say, a 100 meter radius from their facility.
  • Real-Time Weather Data
  • Some people have installed temperature, humidity, air pressure, and rainfall gauges that electronically transmit this information for their property, to a display unit in their home. With Survey Eggs this same information can be communicated (for free or for a fee) to weather bureaus, local new stations, and online map companies (and other entities) for compilation, analysis, and display in real-time (such as hyperlocal temperature maps for viniculturists).
  • Geologic Data
  • Survey Egg location data can be (provided for free or for a fee and) used by geology firms and university departments for research. Each Survey Egg calculates the distance between itself, and all the other Survey Eggs on the property. It performs this task generally once per day (or any other user selectable interval, such as every second). Cross corner distances are also calculated to ensure that in the case of rectangular (or other shaped) property plots, that intended angles are at 90 degrees. This data may change if the ground shifted.
  • Survey Egg software continuously records and logs all this data, which can be used to measure and monitor tectonic shifts in earthquake prone areas. And Survey Eggs equipped with various optional sensors can provide real-time, continuous temperature, soil, sound, etc. readings.
  • Environmental Sensor Networks (ESN)
  • Survey Eggs can form the backbone of (environment) sensor networks or sensor webs that monitor, map and assist in the management of environmental resources. Sensors can be embedded within or attached to the Survey Eggs that monitor the air, water and soil for chemicals and pollutants, and detect changes in temperature and pressure. Because Survey Eggs may already be in situ for survey related needs, they may save the cost of purpose-built environmental sensor networks. Survey Eggs can provide real-time data on a variety of phenomena that affect the environment and society, such as climate change, hurricanes, air and water pollution, and facilitate the advancement of geology, soil and land management, and agriculture. Survey Eggs can be used to track receding coastlines and to track icebergs in the Northwest Passage or elsewhere. Survey Eggs that mark the location of the pilings for piers and docks can also monitor items such as heavy-metal levels and mercury contamination in coastal areas. And Survey Eggs can aggregate and disseminate local data gathered by both mobile device users, as well as (other) sensor networks
  • Once Survey Eggs have created (or joined) a (worldwide wireless) sensor network, or communicate via ComCloud, this data can be automatically integrated with other data sources (such as public health records or historical climate data). Survey Eggs, in conjunction with online mapping services, then can turn the aggregated data into real-time advanced, informative graphical displays with analysis capabilities.
  • The environmental sensor network data can be used to help researchers understand how environments and people are linked, in order to monitor and protect natural resources, predict and adapt to environmental changes, and provide for sustainable development, as well as reduce the costs and impacts of natural disasters and provide an effective and intelligent response to such disasters.
  • Note Drop
  • For properties or locations that have Survey Eggs, a user can, for example, leave a digital “note” (a Tilz), in the Survey Egg ComCloud for that property, revealing the location of a little used side door to gain access to the Notre Dame cathedral in Paris for one of the user's friends—a note accessible only by those users or entities, the user stipulates.
  • Ad Hoc Transport
  • A user, for example, who needs to move just four furniture items to their friend's garage or a storage facility, might find it too much hassle to try to get bids for this tiny job. But if the user places a Tilz in their Survey Eggs ComCloud describing their needs, a truck 504 that happens to be driving past the homeowner's property with just enough room (or is dead heading) can, if the truck driver's profile is on the lookout for such jobs, choose to pick up this ad hoc business, enabled by the home's Survey Eggs CloudCast.
  • Widget Store
  • Survey Eggs can CloudCast to users appropriate widgets (software applications), in-situ, in-context, in the real world. Widgets that may be useful to a user who is, for example, standing in a particular location, are presented to the user (if the user's profile allows, and possibly only after the user gets paid). For instance, a user may be presented with a coupon widget when entering a store; or a digital travel guide when entering a small village in Europe. Survey Eggs may generate income for their owners, for instance, if the Survey Egg CloudCast charged a commission for widget sales.
  • Digital Content Store
  • Survey Eggs can CloudCast to users digital content of any kind, for any purpose, in-situ, and in-context, in the real world. A wide variety of digital content, such as videos: videos shot at or near that Survey Egg or a video guide to a travel monument (that has at least one Survey Egg). Music: such as songs inspired by this location or local historic music from that village. News stories: say from the local newspaper—sifted and presented as per the user's preference profile, giving the user the sports, or political, or historical information related to this site, that they desire. Or digital “notes” left for a user's friends at a particular location, stating for example: “We had to bail, the line was too long, meet us at Julie's flat.” In fact, any digital content.
  • “Electronic” Signs
  • Physical signs, with Survey Eggs beneath or attached to them, can CloudCast the latest, and most accurate, information. For example, the wooden sign at the Testarossa Winery reads: “Tasting Daily 11 AM-5 PM.” Yet users who venture there on the afternoon of December 24th, might be disappointed to find the tasting room closed. Before climbing the long winding driveway, users could have been informed at the bottom of the hill via Survey Eggs CloudCast, that Christmas Eve, is an exception to the stated hours of operation.
  • Trail Waypoints
  • For example, trail owners can utilize Survey Eggs/Nuts to locate trail junctions and waypoints along trails. Users, for instance, can utilize a GPS device to determine the trail junction location, and load it, via Bluetooth, into the Survey Egg/Nut buried there or attached to the trail sign (and the more users who download such data to the Survey Eggs/Nuts, the more accurate the data becomes, as, for instance, the mean of the those coordinates can be calculated). Then users who then hike or ski within Bluetooth range of the Survey Egg/Nut, get a hit noise on their mobile device (which may or may not be GPS-equipped).
  • Users can also store and pass asynchronous messages to one another via the Survey Egg/Nut, via the onboard storage and/or CloudCast.
  • Users can also request that another user who passes by “pick up the mail” (messages left on the Survey Egg/Nut) via their mobile device, and “deliver” it when that user is next in WiFi, or other networking protocol range—whether for free, or for a fee.
  • Air Traffic Control
  • Installing a Survey Egg on an airplane enables it and air traffic controllers to geo-locate planes using GPS satellites. A method with potentially superior accuracy and functionality, as compared to conventional art (World War II era) ground-based radar systems used by air traffic controllers. Survey Eggs can be utilized by (ground or air) avionics for live data telemetry/telematics.
  • Delivery Box Locations
  • Survey Eggs can be attached to (or beneath) every United States Post Office mailbox, as well as United Parcel Service (UPS) and FedEx mailboxes, with the ComCloud CloudCasting up-to-date pickup times.
  • Device Tracking
  • Survey Nuts can be built into (or attached onto) almost any object, and that object's location may be made trackable. Parents could clip a Survey Nut onto their child's backpack to help determine where their child is. Not a perfect solution, as Survey Nuts opportunistically utilize proximate geo-located WiFi nodes, nearby GPS mobile devices, and other means, but it is free (no monthly service fee).
  • Third Party Services
  • Survey Eggs and the Survey Egg ComCloud include application programming interfaces (APIs), that enable third parties to offer various services via Survey Eggs. For example, attaching a Survey Egg to a wine tank at a winery enables various third party services. Connecting brix meters (which read sugar content) and temperature meters for wine tanks, to the Survey Egg on the wine tank, enable a vinicultural management company or contracted winemaker, to remotely monitor fermentation progress (and thereby inform punch down schedules, etc.)—one of the single most time consuming aspects of wine making. Survey Eggs can control valve attachments to automate and coordinate the timing for pumping of fermenting red wine juice back over the grape skins, as well as water flow regulation, to heat or cool the tanks.
  • Attaching a pressure regulator to the Survey Egg enables remote operation and control of hydraulic-powered fermentors and hydraulic-powered presses. Attaching a mass spectrometer or gas sensor to the Survey Egg enables remote and realtime monitoring of carbon dioxide levels, and thus automate venting. Attaching a spectrophotometer to the Survey Egg enables vintners to remotely and actively measure the presence of various compounds in a wine. And since, Survey Eggs have a ComCloud, data could be shared, selectively, among various winemakers, if they wish to compare their analytics to industry-wide norms. A single spectrophotometer attached to a Survey Egg, is, via CloudCast, shareable among all tanks in the entire winery.
  • Motion Control
  • In one or more embodiments, particularly Survey Nuts, wherein an object's position in three dimensional space, within, say, a room or building, can be established, that object can be interacted with, transacted with, or otherwise controlled or engaged via methods such as waving one's hands in the air.
  • Survey Nuts enable novel types of intra-spatial movement control, as well as novel types of communicating, interacting, and transacting; for example, accomplishing any of the preceding, by movements of one's hand(s) in the air, in a room with Survey Nuts in the corners and edges of that room. And Survey Nuts, in combination with multi-axis magnetometers/accelerometers enable users to engage the real world via hand/arm/foot/etc. gestures and motions.
  • Survey Nuts' spatial location technology enables users to interact with their physical environment in entirely new ways. Survey Nuts enable users to engage the real world via gestures/motions: guide radio-controlled vehicles; “press” an elevator button with just a flick of a finger; roll up car windows by making a U-shaped motion with a finger, while walking away from the car; control a custom version of a fast food restaurant drive-through menu display; flick content to another person or device; change the TV channel; play various in-person virtual games, such as “Pong” by, for example, users swinging their mobile handsets (or other devices) through the air as if holding a tennis racquet; or play other video games; or engage virtual or overlay environments; utilize RFID fingernail stickers to type on any surface by just moving the user's fingers without need for a physical keyboard; control a virtual heads-up display; among other use cases. In embodiments Survey Nuts utilize radio frequency identification RFID to perform 3-axes geo-spatial location.
  • Smart Parking Meters
  • Parking meters become smart parking meters simply by attaching a Survey Egg or Survey Nut thereto. The Survey Egg/Nut ComCloud CloudCasts information to parking users on parking hours/costs. This can be accomplished by various means including sending Tilz to the parking users' mobile devices or automobiles. Parking users can pay via via CloudCast via a variety of means, including several proprietary methods (such as iDough, Pay by Widge, and Motran). Options include a SafePay method, whereby a user's credit/debit card is charged or bank account debited, for each block of time utilized, without worry about the meter running out of time, and the user possibly receiving a parking ticket (as is the case with coin-operated “dumb” parking meters).
  • The cost advantages for adding a low cost Survey Egg/Nut to existing parking meters, are tremendous. Cities are paying upwards of $5,000 each for so-called smart meters. For example, Survey Eggs can be installed at the corners of the parking lot, with less expensive Survey Nuts attached to each parking meter at each parking space. In fact, parking lots could even be made “smart” with just one Survey Egg station; that users walk to (or access via Bluetooth) after they park their car. Users then enter their parking space number and payment information. Parking police are wirelessly notified if any meters go “red” (run out of time); or again, users can SafePay, if they have an approved payment modality that can be charged for each unit of time parked.
  • Furthermore, adding a Survey Egg/Nut to a parking meter, turns that parking meter into a revenue generating station, for both cities and parking users.
  • Sponsored Parking
  • Parking users can actually receive revenue by agreeing to accept ads, sent via the Survey Egg ComCloud. Any such revenue can be split with the City. Parking users can receive ads in exchange for reduced or even free parking The City can also promote, via the Survey Egg ComCloud, upcoming town events. A hair salon, for example, that is near the parking lot can advertise an “empty-chair” 25% discount—true real-time advertising. And all ads are received (or rejected) as per each user's profile. Such advertising meets a real world need: an empty salon chair that will either generate revenue that hour or not. Those skilled in the art may appreciate a plurality of uses and income generating cases, utilizing a Survey Egg ComCloud.
  • Survey Eggs on City Buses/Trains
  • All bus stop poles can have Survey Eggs/Nuts attached thereto. Passenger's mobile devices, for example, can receive the bus schedule, and actual bus location on a realtime map (for those buses that have a Survey Egg, or other type of location establishing device, onboard).
  • Sponsored Riding
  • Cities, transportation districts, bus companies, et. al. can receive additional revenue from advertisements/coupons sent to passengers in exchange for reduced or free fares. Transportation vehicles simply attach a Survey Egg to the vehicle, and the Survey Egg ComCloud, can, for example, accept ads/coupons/offers/information from businesses near a passenger's stop. Blockbuster video store, for example, may incentivize the user to go two additional stops to a location near the Blockbuster store, by paying the extra 25 cents fare. True realtime advertising, as per users' profiles.
  • Web Drops
  • Wireless carrier networks are both relatively slow and lacking in sufficient bandwidth for the current infrastructure to support mobile devices as the next computing platform. One or more embodiments of the Invention are conceived as a response to this deficiency by incorporating or otherwise connecting various external interfaces, wherein wireless network traffic is offloaded onto, among others but not limited to, wireline, cable TV, and fiber optic networks. The external interfaces perform signal conditioning and data format conversions to enable communication through one or both of wired or wireless networks. Such wired interfaces may be compatible with Ethernet standards and TCP/IP. Wireless interfaces may be compatible with one or more of the Infrared Data Association (IrDA) and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) 802 family of wireless data communications protocols. It should be understood that other data-network interfaces compatible with other communication standards and protocols may also be utilized.
  • Offsets
  • If, for some reason, the Survey Eggs cannot be placed at the desired boundary points, Survey Eggs can be programmed for the appropriate amount of distance offset, and thereby located where more physically practical. Also, if, for instance, the boundary points are later challenged (such as in a court of law), the authoritative government body can decree that a location offset be programmed into the Survey Eggs, rather than having to physically move and relocate the Survey Eggs.
  • Virtual Surveys
  • For example, for a case involving two adjoining neighbors, Neighbor #1 is seeking approval for an addition to the house, but discovers the lot line is such that Neighbor #1 will need to seek a variance. Furthermore, if the lot line were moved just two inches into Neighbor #2's lot, then no variance would be required. If Neighbor #1 and #2 reach an agreement as to a lot line adjustment, which is then made legally binding by various local processes, the Survey Eggs denoting the prior adjoining lot corners, do not need to be moved. The expense of having a surveyor physically survey the new lot lines can be saved, in favor of having the surveyor re-set the Survey Eggs for a 2″ offset—which can be accomplished remotely, electronically, via the surveyor's computing device. The Survey Eggs then automatically re-calculate the lot lines, and transmit the new (Record of Virtual Survey) subdivision and plot map information to the appropriate government agencies.
  • Travel Monument Guides
  • Travel monuments could also use Survey Eggs to broadcast information about that site, for example, as follows: a traveler visits a travel monument (say a particular castle ruin in England which features an information plaque with an IP-enabled barcode on it), the traveler then scans/marks it with their mobile handset barcode scanner, which sends a short data burst to see if there are Survey Eggs nearby for that travel monument, and if so, the Survey Eggs send a brief audio and visual history for that monument to the users mobile handset. This is possible even where there is no traditional cell phone coverage (on non cellphone devices), since the data stored on the Survey Eggs can be broadcast via means such as WiFi, RFID, Bluetooth, and other means).
  • The Survey Egg ComCloud broadcasts (CloudCasts) the profile of that monument. The profile might include items such as: self-guided tour (audio file), self-guided tour (video file), history of the monument (text file), donations to the entity responsible for that monument's upkeep and management (payment transaction modality).
  • Emergency/Medical Alert Reporting System
  • Particularly for the elderly or those who live alone, the Survey Egg ComCloud can be used to transmit an emergency signal to local 911 or other emergency services personnel. Users can wear a pendant around their neck which can communicate with the Survey Egg ComCloud (while the user is within 100 meters of the ComCloud), and thereby alert family, friends, neighbors, or first responder personnel to a problem.
  • Emergency Services
  • Survey Egg ComCloud (or RFID or Bluetooth) enables firefighters/ambulances/police to find house numbers even in darkness and smoke.
  • Emergency Broadcast Network
  • Because Survey Eggs have their own battery source they can be used (with or without ComCloud) to send/receive messages during natural disasters or other emergency situations. Since the power is out during many emergencies, outdated conventional art systems, such as those that broadcast via a user's cable TV system, may be rendered useless without power.
  • Government agencies, at the national level, and counties at the local level, are investing in systems that allow them to send/receive information during emergencies. Currently most of their programs only allow them to send, but not receive, information. The types of messages they want to send include where to evacuate to, and day-to-day updates on such topics as transportation and sources of food and fresh water.
  • In-Car Navigation Data
  • The Survey Egg ComCloud (via means such as WiFi, RFID or Bluetooth) can communicate with users driving by, especially (or even limited to) FedEx or other delivery company personnel, to more conveniently find, locate, and/or determine house numbers/addresses and even the homeowner's name (if the homeowner chooses to ComCloud broadcast it). Drivers can keep their eyes on the road instead of driving while trying to spot and find particular address numbers on buildings/houses.
  • Atmospheric Research
  • “Up-look” multi-spectral imaging via low-spectral resolution spectrometer attachments to Survey Eggs can measure atmospheric reflectance in the wavelength region responding to solar illumination. Such data has implications, for example, vis a vis the buildup of airborne pollutants and greenhouse gases.
  • Automated Water/Gas/Electric Meter Reading
  • Survey Eggs can automate the reading of water, gas, and electric (and other) meters at residential and commercial properties (504). Users with Survey Eggs at the boundary points of their property, who have also set up a ComCloud can wirelessly transmit the data from the water/gas/electric meters. The water/gas/electric meter can transmit the data to the user's ComCloud via several means including Bluetooth and/or WiFi. The user can set the ComCloud range to transmit the meter reading (which data can be encrypted) to a distance such that water/gas/electric company personnel can drive or walk by and wirelessly receive and record the meter reading from the street/sidewalk. The water/gas/electric personnel can use a mobile handset or other device to receive the (encrypted) readings. Alternatively, users can have the (encrypted) meter readings continuously sent wirelessly via means such as WiFi to the water/gas/electric company's servers; via the Internet if that home, the neighbors, or a nearby mobile device has connectivity—even asynchronously.
  • Prevent Skiers from Getting Lost
  • Each year skiers die when they accidentally head off piste, especially in storm conditions. Ski resorts can install Survey Eggs at all chairlifts and resort boundary inflection (direction change) points. Ski patrol officers can then send real-time run closure information. Mobile handset users can locate themselves relative to the Survey Eggs without need for a fee-based monthly GPS service.
  • GPS Coordinates for Online Map Addresses
  • Survey Eggs enable maps of businesses, homes, travel monuments/sites, etc. to include the GPS coordinates—which allows for an additional type of navigation, not generally included with today's online maps. Aerial view online maps can offer the option of displaying the GPS coordinates and/or boundary lines for specific sites. GPS coordinates for commercial or residential properties can also be included in telephone directory ads/listings for (automatic) downloading into the user's mobile handset or in-car navigation system to make finding the location easier.
  • Dig Safely
  • During any excavation project, the property owner often has to have a company such as Dig Safe come and provide an underground utility survey done. This is done to avoid digging up or damaging underground gas, sewer, water, power or telecommunications lines/pipes. Survey Eggs could be used to mark not only the location of each pipe, and each inflection point (change of direction) but the Survey Eggs could also broadcast metadata such as the type and age of the pipe, and depth of the pipe below grade (or its absolute altimeter reading). All this data is then be assembled into an online map by the Survey Egg software for viewing on any digital device such as a mobile handset or PC. This would also allow excavation crews to walk the area with a mobile handset and quickly determine the location of any section of pipe by a plurality of means, including using the Survey Egg widget to audio-locate any Survey Egg via a series of staccato beeps which increase in frequency and pitch until they reach a steady tone when the user is standing immediately above a Survey Egg. Such underground utilities need only be marked once, with Survey Eggs, rather than during every job.
  • Improved Underground Utility Serviceability
  • Another problem with underground utilities is that it is hard to determine exactly where a problem is located if, say, an underground pipe breaks. The use of Survey Eggs located at pipe inflection points (where one section of pipe changes direction relative to the preceding section) can address this problem. Inexpensive flow meters, for example, could be installed in the pipe at all Survey Egg locations. The flow meter data may be broadcast (CloudCast) as part of the Survey Egg metadata—enabling service crews to readily pinpoint a potential/actual trouble spot.
  • Furthermore, most utilities can use such Survey Eggs to receive continuous real-time flow rate telemetry data (in many cases for the first time ever) so as to better analyze capacity usage and make better determinations as to when to perform utility pipe upgrades.
  • Online 3D Map Mashups
  • Online maps could display underground, ground level, and above ground data:
  • Underground utilities, pipes, water/sewer/gas lines, etc.;
    Ground Level railroad lines, dirt roads, sidewalks, trails, etc.;
  • Above Ground utility poles/lines, airway rights, etc.
  • In addition, online maps can display digital blueprints 195 of structures mapped via Survey Nuts (in cases where the owner chooses to make such data public). Such data enables numerous location-based services not available today.
  • The above examples could also all be projected onto (mashed up with) existing online maps such as 50-State maps or voting district maps, etc.
  • In addition Survey Eggs/Nuts can provide reference points to cameras as they take still and video images. This enables a fly-through three dimensional image or video of any building, monument, et. al. to be created from the thousands of photos taken by tourists (and others).
  • Digital Blueprints
  • Digital blueprints 195 or “as-built” blueprints are, per the conventional art, accomplished via very expensive equipment and involve high level mathematics to resolve the stunningly large amounts of data needed create a blueprint of an object (such as a building) that already exists. Currently engineers and surveyors use laser scanners to bounce off numerous targets placed on the structure being blueprinted. The laser is then moved and the process is repeated at this new and slightly different angle. This is done hundreds of times to achieve an accurate as-built blueprint.
  • Archeologists also use this technique to map ruins such as those at Tikal, an ancient Mayan city in Guatemala.
  • Survey Eggs and Survey Nuts can accomplish this same result (digital blueprints) with much less time and with lower cost equipment. The surveyors simply place Survey Eggs at major boundary points, and Survey Nuts at all other minor junctions that need mapping, and the Survey Egg software automatically creates a three dimensional digital blueprint 195 of the structure.
  • And for structures, such as suburban homes, with complete digital blueprints, the architect could “tie” a “cornerstone” of the digital blueprint to a specific cornerstone Survey Egg. This would enable other neighbors or city planning commissions to view things such as potential site lines for proposed new construction projects.
  • Shipping Container Monitors
  • Conventional art container monitors cost upwards of $1000 per container. Survey Eggs are much more cost effective. In addition to the normal Survey Egg functions (such as real-time GPS location monitoring) sensors can be installed in the Survey Egg to monitor everything from the container door lock, humidity and temperature to radiation and gases such as carbon dioxide.
  • Shipping container Survey Egg monitors enable clients to micromanage their supply chains, reduce theft and inventories, and purchase less expensive insurance. The U.S. brings in approximately $1.9 trillion of manufactured goods each year, 60% via sea. Approximately 0.3% of those shipping containers are lost to theft: an annual loss of around $3 billion that can be reduced via use of Survey Eggs. Also increased inspections, especially for containers without such sensors, is very costly: $50,000/day for a medium sized container ship. And due to heightened terrorism concerns, an increasing number of governments are mandating solutions such as shipping container monitors.
  • GPE Service
  • Global Positioning Egg (GPE) service can be offered as an alternative to GPS (global positioning satellite) service. GPE is lower power and lower cost. Mobile handsets and cars can utilize a network comprised of Survey Eggs, Survey Nuts, and other means such as cell phone towers, WiFi hotspots, WiFi towers, and other towers to determine their location—in preference to (expensive) satellite GPS service.
  • Gotz Dotz
  • Gotz Dotz uses include, but are not limited to: Identify available parking spaces in parking garages or on a street (When a car parks between Gotz Dotz that circumscribe (or other layout arrangement relative to) a parking space the car's/user's ComCloud can indicate to the Gotz Dotz that the parking space is now taken); Telemetry data services (Gotz Dotz can download and transmit telematics data from the car's computer (such as speed, engine temperature, oil pressure, tire pressure, exhaust emissions, et. al.) in realtime. Data, as per user's profiles and wishes, can be sent to entities such as the car owners or the owner's mobile device, or the car manufacturer (which might pay users for such information), or law enforcement agencies (outstanding parking tickets or lapsed insurance), or the department of motor vehicles DMV (smog information, current registration), et. al.); Free GPS (People and cars moving along a Gotz Dotz path can determine their location); Traffic report network (Cars can automatically send anonymous driving speed information to Gotz Dotz, that can be aggregated to provide realtime traffic conditions information, and sell it to online map services and news organizations); Seasonal road marking (Gotz Dotz can mark the edges of seasonal ice roads (a solution superior to the conventional art sticks with flags). Gotz Dotz can also mark the edges of highways and roads with heavy snowfall); Automated vehicle guidance (As various aspects of vehicular control are enabled by ground sensors, Gotz Dotz can interact with the car's navigation system, cruise control, automatic breaking, steering, et. al. to guide the vehicle along the Gotz Dotz marked path); People movers inside airports; Baggage trucks/carts on airport tarmacs; Conveyor belts in factories. Sensor networks (Gotz Dotz can gather/relay information (ambient temperature, carbon dioxide levels, et. al.) in support of networks of devices which can measure and/or analyze, for instance, environmental parameters).
  • Gotz Dotz may replace survey monuments in places where other Survey Egg embodiments might be destroyed, such as on a street, curb, or sidewalk. Gotz Dotz, like Botts' Dots, are designed to withstand being run over by vehicles. Gotz Dotz may act as permanent and accurately re-locatable survey monuments. Gotz Dotz amass location data to automatically produce subdivision plot maps that can be more accurate than some conventional art subdivision maps, and are continuously available (via online map mashup) at minimal (relative) cost. Because Gotz Dotz may automatically create online/digital plot maps, they provide impetus for resolution of differing boundary surveys—as well as a basis for updating inaccurate legal descriptions of properties. Owners of telephone poles, street light posts, cell phone towers, et. al. are beginning to geo-tag their inventory, driving demand for fixed-location sensing devices such as Gotz Dotz.
  • Survey Nuts
  • Inside a home Survey Nuts may CloudCast all of a user's household items. If a guest likes the kitchen appliances, cabinets, or faucet, such information Tilz may be being CloudCast. The homeowner may get paid if/when an interested party who receives those Tilz, for example, later purchases that item from that company. All the contractors/manufacturers for every time in the house, may pay the homeowner to be on the homeowner's CloudCast. Information about items is CloudCast to guest's mobile devices. Such household items might include: paintings, artwork, silverware, couches, TVs, light fixtures, clothes, literally everything that user owns has a Tilz that is part of that property's CloudCast. The homeowner may get paid for the information regarding who designed, supplied and installed their kitchen.
  • The present Invention may be embodied in other specific forms without departing from its spirit or essential characteristics. The described embodiments are to be considered in all respects only as illustrative and not restrictive. The scope of the Invention is, therefore, indicated by the appended claims in addition to all foregoing descriptions. All changes which come within the meaning and range of equivalency of the claims and foregoing descriptions are to be embraced within their scope.
  • The Wireless Location-Establishing Device Provides a Platform for Interactive, Customized, User-Solicited Advertisements
  • A system, method, service and platform for providing interactive, multimedia, customized, user-solicited advertisements are disclosed; which, for example, reduce unwanted ads for users and marketing expenses for advertisers. Via a plurality of means, users create profiles of the objects they utilize in their life. The resultant profile(s) is then made available by the present Invention (“Ad Widge”) to entities such as those which manufacture or sell said objects. Those entities pay the user to view the user's ad profile, whereupon said entities make a determination whether or not to pay the user again to send ads, offers or other information, as per each user's preferences and profiles.
  • Up until now (2002), virtually all advertising/marketing has been based upon one thing: guesses. Guesses, for instance, about who might be interested in a company's message(s). Guesses about where, when, and how best to attempt to engage with customers and potential customers.
  • The present Invention (hereafter “Ad Widge”), is conceived as a response to the above-described deficiencies of the conventional art. With Ad Widge, advertising/marketing shifts from “guesses” to “facts.”
  • Users create profiles of everything in their life. And based upon the facts in those profiles, advertisers/marketers make informed decisions, fact-informed decisions, about getting their messages (and other data) to customers and potential customers. Ad Widge's technology enables users to receive just those ads they want, and get paid to do so.
  • These profiles indicate not only those items the user would like ads for, but also how, when and where. Ad Widge enables a number of innovative advertising modalities including: local advertising, location-based advertising, timely advertising, contextual ads, blended ads, interest category ads, behavioral ads, affinity ads, intramedia/intrastitial ads, self-aggregating group ads, realtime competitive ads, et. al.
  • Further, Ad Widge, disintermediates (some) middlemen in the advertising/marketing process; putting advertisers/marketers (often the manufacturer or retailer of a product) in direct one-to-one contact with customers and potential customers. Thus, monies that erstwhile went to middlemen which created profiles of users based upon guesses, can be re-directed to users, who, via Ad Widge, create and surface their fact-based profiles directly to advertising/marketing entities, and are thereby potentially paid to receive information, ads, offers, and other data.
  • Via a plurality of means, users are in control of the information they receive, including ads/offers/et. al. An Ad Widge profile is a shield against information overload.
  • The vast majority of advertising today is unsolicited and irrelevant to the recipient. Accordingly, an improved method of advertising is desirable. Interactive, customized, user-solicited advertisements—the present Invention—enables advertisers/marketers to better target interested ad recipients. And for recipients, the avalanche of junk mail, TV and radio ads, and online advertising is reduced to a focused stream of ads for just those products and services (and other things) recipients are interested in receiving more information about.
  • Both advertisers and advertising recipients are losers vis a vis conventional art advertising modalities. Advertisers waste billions of dollars each year sending ads to recipients with no interest in those ads. And ad recipients are so bombarded with junk mail and all other forms of non-targeted advertising that not only is a great deal of the recipient's time wasted, but also vast quantities of natural resources (such as trees) and energy (coal for electricity, oil for U.S. Postal Service junk mail delivery, etc.) are squandered producing and delivering ads that the recipients don't want.
  • Advertisers waste the better part of their advertising budget delivering ads to recipients who are not interested in seeing that ad at that time. For example, if a tire company pays $100,000 for a 30-second ad during a football game, the ad might be viewed by millions of people who don't currently need tires; or are members of the family (such as children) who do not purchase their own tires. Advertisers don't want to waste corporate resources sending ads to people who don't want/need them.
  • As more and more Web properties continue their assault on users' privacy, more and more users will want to take control of their ad profile. And the diminishing value of the tsunami of ads flashed at users each day, cries out for fewer, more relevant ads. Too many ads=too little impact. Quantity vs quality.
  • Conventional art advertising technology is outdated. The “spray and pray” method, wherein companies put their ads in front of thousands or millions of people, is an outdated and spectacularly inefficient method that hopes for maybe a 1% response rate. There's minimal value to the hundreds of different ad impressions per day the average person is exposed to. And what value is there to increase that number? As more online entities ramp up their advertising, users are about to be drowned in ads. But people need fewer ads, more relevant ads. And even with fewer ads, or ads targeted at smaller groups of users—even solo individuals—Ad Widge enables content owners to profitably make their content available. For example, Ad Widge changes the economics of re-runs (and other digital content). Not just relevant ads, but ads that people actually solicit, and ads for items the users indicated they are imminently purchasing in the next few days, are valuable, orders of magnitude more valuable, as compared to the “spray and pray” cost per thousand viewers. In some cases $5 or even $25 are paid for such ads to a single user, which changes the economics of reruns and enables content owners to monetize their vast libraries in a way that makes their library potentially worth an order of magnitude more than per the conventional art advertising modalities. Attaching an ad paying more than the (10 cent) cost to stream content to a user is profit to the content provider.
  • There are a plurality of ad platforms, trying to monetize digital content (and other things). However, only the Ad Widge ad platform pays the user (the ad recipient). Conventional art so-called “targeted advertising” assumes that all users are poised in the starting blocks every single second of the day, just waiting to hear a keyword, at which point they launch themselves into a store to purchase that keyword item. A completely absurd assumption that informs targeted advertising schemes, which pepper users with ads each time the user says a keyword, or types it in an email, or speaks it in a phone call, etc. Further, it leads to irrelevant ads that users don't want to receive.
  • Ad Widge provides an unique solution to the problem of unwanted advertising. Not only does Ad Widge save advertisers money, but also “saves” users money by paying them to receive ads. Furthermore, Ad Widge enables realtime competitive ads. Instead of spraying out ads and hoping a few people respond, advertising via Ad Widge, can be directed to users who are in the act of making a purchase (or have a profile indicating a potential for such a future purchase). Advertising via Ad Widge can now be tied and tracked according to a user's expressed interests and purchase history, automatically. Users simply go about their life and Ad Widge automatically builds their profile, then helps the user monetize their profile. With Ad Widge users are the ones in charge of and being paid for the users' profiles.
  • Ads Vs Coupons
  • In embodiments, ads are a means of providing consumers more information about the features and benefits of various competing products/services that recipients are deciding among for a future purchase; whereas coupons are a specific financial discount for items that recipients already regularly purchase or want to purchase (and thus don't necessarily contain product features/benefits information).
  • The Invention is enabled by the current and forthcoming digital technologies such as the Internet, the ever more present digital radio, and the proposed digital television broadcasting. It is also enabled by ever more capable mobile handsets—which are defined vis a vis the present Invention, as cell phone-like devices, such as a personal digital assistant (PDA) or other devices/embodiments other than a personal computer (PC) or laptop, that don't necessarily require a monthly contract from a wireless carrier to be a useful device. Those skilled in the art will appreciate, however, that a user may utilize other digital devices that are similar to or different from a mobile handset, featuring wireless carrier service or not; Such devices are consistent with the principles of the Invention, and are thusly encompassed herein by inference.
  • Though in embodiments Ad Widge can be used by anyone with a digital device (such as a computer) and, optionally, Internet access, it is aimed primarily at users of mobile handsets—and some users will exclusively utilize their mobile handset to engage and utilize Ad Widge. Of course, other users may simply utilize other computing devices (or even televisions or other things) that are different from mobile handsets.
  • Before the Internet and the digital media revolution, advertising was a one-way communication. For decades, advertisers simply foisted their ads via junk mail, newspaper ads, radio ads and TV ads on millions of recipients hoping for something like 1% of the recipients to actually be interested enough in the advertisement to take action to purchase that product or service being advertised.
  • Increasingly so, recipients are being bombarded not only by junk mail and radio/TV advertising, but also by online advertising. And the avalanche of ads is just about to skyrocket as social network advertising (on MySpace, etc.) and mobile handset advertising emerges. Recipients will hardly be able to go for more than a few minutes of their day without being assaulted by unwanted and irrelevant ads. Additionally, users are becoming increasingly concerned about their privacy, as some of a user's online actions are resulting in so-called targeted ads. And conventional art “targeted advertising” is evermore intrusive.
  • The conventional art Web advertising model has many flaws, and one of those flaws is just how many entities (middlemen) there are between the Website and the user. Ad placement. Websites hire outside companies to place ads on their sites and choose the ads that will make the most money. Ad buyers. Ad placement companies contact ad networks (that buy the ads) and technology companies that help advertisers bid for them. Ad targeting companies. The ad buyers reach out to other companies to track or measure their ads or for access to ad-targeting data.
  • All these companies can potentially collect data about users by installing cookies on a computer without the Website knowing. Thus some Websites are upset that others are profiting by selling data about the site's users for ad-targeting purposes. And of course, the users, as per the conventional art, are getting paid nothing, despite the fact that it is the users' profiles that all the others in this value chain are making money off of. Accordingly it's desirable for users to take control of, and profit from, their own profiles. And with Ad Widge, they do just that.
  • With Ad Widge (in embodiments), Websites interact directly with the user's profile broadcast or “ComCloud” which includes a user's ad profile. Thereby companies can see whether a user wants an ad from that company without the scrum of middlemen making expensive guesses about a user's preferences. Instead the user tells the company directly. Ad Widge's technology enables users to receive just those ads they want, and users get paid to do so.
  • Unfortunately other advertisers continue to deliver ads as if the Internet and digital revolution has not taken place. Some offline advertisers use information about ad recipients gathered from entry forms for contests and warranty postcards. Direct marketing companies create numerous mailing lists based on these keywords or whether someone bought from a particular catalog before. Then for the next 5-10 years users received junk mail (and other forms of ads) based upon this incomplete, out of date, and often inaccurate profile.
  • Feedback about the relevance/usefulness of the TV ads or junk mail was not practical—but it is today. Prior to the Internet there wasn't a cost effective way for people to build their own ad profile and communicate it directly to marketers (or today's search engines seeking to serve up ads). Yet most conventional art search engines ignore this fact, and continue to bombard users with ads based upon 50 year old marketing techniques.
  • The Internet, mobile handsets, digital radio, and the forthcoming digital television enable advertisers to inexpensively target individual recipients via simple, practical means. It would be preferable for users to give feedback about ad relevancy. It would be preferable for users to create their own profiles, either explicitly (by filling out profile checklists or other means) or implicitly (by means such as barcode scanning or RFID interrogation of the objects users utilize in their life—profiles which can be created while online or offline). Ads can thereby be tied to a user's expressed interests and purchase history, automatically.
  • It would be much better, for example, if advertisers had a list of people who actively indicated an interest in receiving, say, tire ads. Advertisers could target that much smaller subset of people who are interested in receiving tire ads, and not annoy potential future customers who don't want to receive tire ads right now. Instead of advertisers bombarding millions of recipients with millions of ads (a shotgun approach), recipients can, via the Invention, be in charge of the advertising they receive by requesting just those ads they are interested in (a rifle approach). Various technologies have now evolved to the point where it is simple and practical for advertising, for the first time, to become a two-way ongoing communication between advertiser and recipient.
  • Ad Widge is interactive, customized, user-solicited advertisements. When users solicit ads/information, ads can shift their focus from the marketing-driven hype of the conventional art, to becoming more effective information delivery vehicles, for users who are actively seeking information vis a vis a purchase decision (or other reason).
  • Interactive, customized, user-solicited advertisements enable advertisers to better target interested ad recipients. Instead of users being bombarded with random ads, users can, for instance, scan the barcodes/RFID of the items they use in their everyday life to automatically build a profile of items they could really use ads for.
  • As used herein in connection with the ads associated with the plurality of embodiments of the Invention, the following terms are defined as:
  • Interactive: users solicit and receive additional information on the item in real-time, as well as rate the relevance/usefulness of that ad to that user.
    Customized: ads appear in a format according to the user's preferences/profiles, and can offer different information and ad appearances to different users.
    User-solicited: users surface profiles of items for which ads may be desired, to various ad-issuing entities, and thereby inform ads they receive.
    Advertisements: advertisements, offers, information and/or other forms of data or content are herein encompassed by the terms “advertisements” or “ads.”
  • Reference herein to the word “advertisers” shall be understood to encompass advertising, marketing, and/or related entities.
  • The present Invention is described in one or more embodiments in the following description with references to the Figures. While the Invention is described in terms of the primary modes for achieving the Invention's objectives, it will be appreciated by those skilled in the art that it is intended to cover alternatives, modifications, and equivalents as may be included within the spirit and scope of the Invention as defined by the appended claims and their equivalents as supported by the disclosures and drawings herein.
  • A primary purpose of the system, method, service and platform for providing interactive, customized, user-solicited advertising described herein is to reduce inefficiency vis a vis advertising and marketing. The disclosed system, method, service and platform also enable advertising recipients to exert control over and manage the information that is marketed or otherwise sent thereto.
  • Although various embodiments of the Invention extend to any system that operates in accordance with the principles described herein, one embodiment is described in the context of a Website, server software and widget (Webified mini-software application) that is collectively referred to herein as “Ad Widge.”
  • According to this embodiment of Ad Widge, the Website, server software and widget enable users to create lists/profiles of things they'd like to receive ads for. Users indicate via a preference profile (Web Pref) the way they'd like their ads presented (e.g. text-based details, or visually-oriented, on their mobile handset or in the postal mail, etc.) The checkmark list (or profile), among other embodiments, can be created manually or by using their mobile handset to scan barcodes (Net Dotz) of products as they use them, or scan the barcodes of items they come across in stores, on Websites, in TV ads, or other places. Product/service vendors then send users ads according to user ad profiles. In addition users may engage in social/business networking with other users via profiles, blogs, chat rooms, and message boards.
  • In embodiments Ad Widge is a software widget that resides on various digital devices (particularly mobile handsets), and enables stores, merchants, service providers, etc. to send ads to a user's digital device, based upon the desired-ad profile set up by the user. Via a plurality of means, including the Ad Widge Website and/or directly on the users' digital device via the Invention's widget (downloadable Webified mini software application), users create a profile of the advertising they would like to receive. Advertisers can, if the user's profile allows, view the profile of items for which the user would like to receive ads. Advertisers then deliver the ads to the users (customized) as per the user's ad profile.
  • This profile indicates not only those items the user would like to receive ads for (e.g. tennis gear, car tires, organic breakfast cereals, etc.) but also how, when, and where the user would like to receive the information. For example a text message on the user's mobile handset, or a 3 minute detailed ad on the user's TV between 6 and 8 PM, or a brochure mailed to the user's home, etc.
  • Via their Ad Widge profile users may also elect to allow ads from competitors of products in their Ad Profile—competitors pay the user for the right to try to entice them to switch products (in embodiments via modalities such as realtime bidding). After all it is the users time and money that is sought: The user's time, to review the info/ads/offers/etc.; and ultimately it is the user's money that is sought by the advertiser/marketer (often to purchase the advertiser's/marketer's product/service).
  • Advertisers/marketers already pay, to get their ads/ads/information/et. al. to users—they pay middlemen such as search engines, Internet tracking companies, and/or market research firms, etc. With Ad Widge, users and potential users make their interest in more information about a product known via their profile broadcast, without need for middlemen to guess which users might be interested in an advertiser's ads/offers/information/et. al. Thus advertisers can save those monies paid to get their messaging to users who weren't interested in receiving it, and further redirect monies that were paid to middlemen to guess which users want which ads/offers/information/et. al.; instead, potentially paying fees to users directly, in exchange for the value the user provided in surfacing their profile.
  • In those instances where payments are non-zero, users can further control the amount of ads/offers/information/et. al. they receive, by setting a minimum fee to receive, read and review the ads/offers/information/et. al. That is to say, the senders of such material must pay the user an amount equal to or exceeding the user's minimum fee to even send the user such material.
  • FIG. 14 illustrates one of the Invention's most important principles: profiles=currency. Ad Widge simplifies and automates the process whereby users create, manage and monetize their profiles. And these profiles have value. There are many companies, for instance, which would pay, literally, to view a user's profiles 1302.
  • Consider a case where all users create and broadcast all their profiles 1302 to all the appropriate entities at all times. Then, for example, the local movie theater could simply view the movie profiles 1305 of all movie goers in say a 20 mile radius of the movie theater, when making decisions such as which movies to acquire the rights to show in their theater. Such profile-based, fact-based decision making is far superior to the so-called analytics programs which harvest vast amounts of information, and apply complex algorithms, in the hopes of teasing out a few valuable (accurate) nuggets of information. And ad-sending entities pay a great deal of money for such information, weak though it may be, gleaned via such means.
  • That's why user's fact-based profiles are so valuable to so many entities. In practice, for example, a user reading the Sunday paper, and scanning an ad for a movie they'd like to see may get paid 1022, via Ad Widge, almost instantaneously by entities 1107 such as those that can provide the movie to the user 1108-1113 and ads/offers/information/et. al. related thereto. Scan the ad, and shortly thereafter, the user gets paid. Perhaps only a few pennies (or even fractions thereof) in some embodiments, but the tectonic shift in the advertising landscape may be appreciated by those skilled in the art.
  • Users create a profile of ads they are willing to receive, primarily through barcode/RFID scanning of products they utilize (as well as by other means). Alternatively users can indicate they are willing to let any entity send an ad-on any subject—if the sender pays the user (a minimum price set by the user). Each user can set their own prices to receive ads. Users also decide if they want to get paid by advertisers or market research firms (or other entities) to view the user's Ad Widge profile. Cumulative totals and/or frequency of various items purchased is valuable information that the user's profile contains. And beyond just frequency information, there is specific purchase information. For example, a user's profile might indicate a user purchased grated Parmesan cheese 18 times in the past year. But beyond that is much more granular information such as: What sizes of bags (8 ounce or jumbo 32 ounce)? Which brands? Re-sealable pouches or vacuum packed bags? Which stores were they purchased at? What payment modalities were utilized? et. al. The user gets paid by market research companies and manufacturers (and other entities) to view the user's Ad Widge profile which contains such valuable detailed information.
  • The Invention's interests are aligned with users. Ad Widge only gets paid, when users get paid 1403, 1404. Unlike traditional companies, such as leading search companies, which in many cases get paid, even when neither party to a transaction (buyer and seller) are happy with the value received. Traditional middlemen, such as leading search companies, add to the cost of goods (collecting, say, $30 on “refrigerator” searches, during the 10 years a user owns a fridge, happens to do searches on fridges, but isn't at the time in the market for a refrigerator). Ultimately, search companies drives up users' costs twice: 1) the cost of goods that the user eventually pays for is $30 higher; and 2) privacy costs, as entities such as leading search companies spy on users, to obtain the data used as fodder for their algorithmic guesses as to what a user might actually be in the market for.
  • An unique advantage of Ad Widge is that ads/offers/information/et. al. sent to users are based upon the best, most accurate and most comprehensive profiles available—those maintained by the users themselves. Any profile created by a third party is inferior to a user-created and managed profile; because, ipso facto, the only witness, for example, to every single movie a user consumes, by any and all modalities, is the user himself. If a user's movie profile is maintained by a third party such as the user's television service provider, the television service provider only bears witness to those movies the user consumes via the television service provider. Therefore, anytime the user consumes a movie, not via the user's television service provider, the television service provider's movie profile for that user becomes a bit less accurate, a bit less comprehensive and therefore a bit less valuable.
  • The same is true for other third parties which base their advertising systems upon profiles that third parties create of users; such third party profiles are less accurate, less comprehensive and less valuable, than profiles created by users themselves. This is a crucial point: all other forms of advertising prior to the present Invention, rely in some form or another on third party profiles of users. Thus all prior forms of advertising are inferior to Ad Widge's system and method wherein users create, and manage, and monetize their profiles.
  • Therefore in preference to flooding recipients with a plethora of ads, which are often of interest to only a tiny fraction of recipients, users create profiles of everything that matters to them. Said profiles are selectively, as per users' preferences, surfaced to ad-sending entities by Ad Widge. Ad-sending entities (may) pay the user to review the relevant profiles, and thereby determine if they wish to send ads/offers/information/et. al. to the user, and if so, ad-sending entities (may) pay the user again for the user's time to review same.
  • Ad-sending entities can, likewise, create profiles of their own via Ad Widge (or otherwise). For instance, their profile might be of each of the products they manufacture, stores that retail those products, and entities that perform repairs, technical support and/or related services for said products. Once these profiles are created, ad-sending entities can engage the Invention service which automatically matches their product profiles with those users seeking more information, possibly including ads, about that same, or similar, product.
  • Once a profile match has been effected, ad-sending entities then review, either manually with live personnel, or via a computer-based system which might employ various algorithmic facilities, a user's preference profile which includes preferences as to how, when and where a user would like to receive any ads/offers/information/et. al. and a fee schedule detailing the minimum prices (which might be zero) a user is willing to accept, to receive said ads/offers/information/et. al.
  • If the ad-sending entity determines it is advantageous to proceed, ads/offers/information/et. al. are delivered by the company itself, third parties, or via Ad Widge.
  • In embodiments, Ad Widge ads are delivered via Tilz (data tiles), which are transactable objects, and therefore enable users to purchase directly from the ads, even offline ads. For offline ads, users scan the (Net Dotz Internet protocol IP) barcodes, which, in embodiments, results in a Tilz being downloaded to the user's mobile device. The Tilz is a transactable object which enables the user to make purchases therefrom. The user's Ad Widge profile includes user-selectable options, such as the ability for users to choose to allow ads from competing products. For example, if a user utilizes Tide detergent, then the user has the Tide Tilz in their Ad Widge profile. If they allow ads from competing products, such as in this case Cheer detergent, then Cheer detergent is allowed to pay the user to send ads. Competitors pay the user for the right to entice them to switch products.
  • Ad Widge is simple to use for product and service providers. In embodiments, they just post all forms and variations of their advertising, and Ad Widge pulls the appropriate Tilz to each user. So for instance, Ad Widge can facilitate the placement or population of the ads (Tilz) the user sees when watching TV, or in their (digital) newspaper or magazine (or other).
  • The Invention employs and incorporates many unique technologies, such as the ability to purchase a product/item directly from an ad—even offline ads—and facilitate realtime acutions for ads/offers/information/etc. regarding competitive products while the user is in the act of shopping (such as at a bricks and mortar store or while shopping online), as per the detailed descriptions below.
  • Having generally described operation of the systems and methods for profile based advertising, various embodiments will be described with respect to FIGS. 10-19. Referring to the accompanying drawings wherein the same reference numerals refer to the same or similar elements:
  • FIG. 10 shows an exemplifying architecture of an embodiment of an interactive, multimedia, customized, user-solicited advertisements system, method, service, and platform in accordance with the Invention which is designated generally as system 1000.
  • System 1000, hereafter “Ad Widge,” represents an embodiment of the system, method, service and platform by which a user creates profiles of things, which in turn inform the advertising, offers, information and other data the user receives regarding same. The nucleus of the Ad Widge platform centers around client and server software 1014, but which more generally consists of a plurality of computer applications, devices, components, facilities, and systems, as well as a plurality of data facilities, including various data sources and data acquisition facilities. The foregoing may be centrally located or geographically dispersed, may be locally and/or remotely interconnected, and may consist of distinct components or be integrated into combined systems. In the illustrated embodiment, the Ad Widge platform 1000 architecture facilitates the processing of user-initiated queries entered into a query entry system functioning in conjunction, for example, with a barcode reading facility 1003 on the user's 1001 mobile device 1002. The mobile device may process the results of this query locally via client software, or transmit the results of this query to a remote server software system 1014 for further processing and/or routing to data sources and/or processing facilities, such as one or more servers, such as HTTP servers or other servers that are suitable for handling data that are transmitted over computer networks.
  • In embodiments, a plurality of profile acquisition facilities are available including barcode scanning facility 1003 (which may include a laser-based barcode scanner or other barcode scanning means), RFID interrogator facility 1004, network or Internet-based facilities 1005, peer-to-peer facilities 1006, among other profile acquisition modalities 1007. Profiles consist of tiles (or other units) of data about things, hereafter “tiles” or its homonym “Tilz.” The user 1001 acquires a Tilz about something, such as a product (it is understood that the Invention applies not just to products, but also to people, animate and inanimate objects, ideas, et. al.), by one or more of the aforementioned facilities/modalities. Via a vis scanning the barcode 1003 of the product or interrogating the RFID 1004 tag of a product, a Tilz may be returned directly, or indirectly via means wherein the query returns the Internet Protocol (IP) address where more information, the Tilz, may be found for that product. (Other Invention embodiments not involving barcode/RFID facilities are conceived wherein the same or similar data gathering and presentation is accomplished by more conventional vehicles such as Websites or other means.) Users may also acquire Tilz via network or inter-network (Internet) 1005 means, such as pointing a browser to the Webpage wherefrom Tilz for that product may be downloaded or otherwise acquired. Additionally, users may also acquire Tilz for the product via peer-to-peer 1006 means, such as via Bluetooth from, for example, another user who already has the desired Tilz for that product, say on their mobile device. Other peer-to-peer embodiments such as, but not limited to, person-to-machine and machine-to-machine interactions, facilitated by any number of communication modalities, may be utilized to acquire a Tilz about a particular product. Other modalities 1007 are contemplated, consistent with the principles of the Invention. And further, other embodiments not involving Tilz are conceived wherein the same or similar data tracking and presentation is accomplished by more conventional vehicles such as Websites (or other means).
  • Once a user has acquired 1002 one or more Tilz about an object, the resultant Tilz, which is the profile of that object, is presented to the Invention's client and/or server software, for sorting into profiles 1008, which consist of logical groups and/or subgroups of one or more Tilz. FIG. 10 illustrates several sample user profiles including the user's movie profile 1009, wine profile 1010, travel profile 1011, groceries profile 1012, and other profiles 1013.
  • A user's profiles 1008, are then presented to the Ad Widge client/server software 1014 which in embodiments may include profile matching algorithm facilities 1015, user profile database/storage facilities 1016, ad profile creation facilities 1017, ad profile management facilities 1018, ad serving/provisioning facilities 1019, ad storage facilities 1020, transaction facilities 1021, payment facilities 1022, security facilities 1023, internal rules facilities 1024, external rules facilities 1025, analytics facilities 1026 and/or other facilities. One or more of the foregoing facilities then processes the incoming/active profile, by a variety of means not limited to extracting keywords and metadata from the constituent Tilz containing that object's profile.
  • For each profile 1008 submitted to Ad Widge, the user makes selections (or chooses to accept automatic defaults or system 1000 generated recommendations) regarding what types of data the user would like to receive, or not receive, vis a vis that profile. Granularity of data control extends to the individual Tilz within a profile. Additional choices regarding data reception control include, but are not limited to how, when and where users receive information about the product. (Incoming information about a product is hereinafter assumed to be received via data tiles or Tilz.) The types of data a user may wish to receive regarding a product include but are not limited to ads, offers, information, or other data/content.
  • For example, a user who just bought 50 items at a grocery store may scan the barcode at the bottom of the user's receipt, and thereby automatically receive a Tilz for each and every item they purchased. These grocery item Tilz may then be sorted into the user's groceries profile 1012. If the user only eats Wheaties cereal, the user may elect to block, REJECT, any incoming cereal ads (which might annoy the user, who only purchases and eats Wheaties). However, a user who is a buyer of Minute Maid orange juice, and is open to receiving orange juice information may therefore set their Ad Widge preference profile regarding orange juice ads to ACCEPT.
  • Users may fine tune, set the granularity of, or otherwise adjust Accept/Reject criteria via the internal rules facility 1024 or other facilities. Internal rules 1024 (such as those set by the user) and external rules 1025 (such as those set by wireless carriers, and/or other third parties) are applied to user's profiles and affect various aspects of ad delivery and presentation. Examples of rules that can be set manually (by the user) or automatically (by Ad Widge's algorithm facilities 1015) include: 1) How, when, where to receive ads (for instance certain types of ads should be delivered to a user's TV from 7-9 PM on weeknights, other types of ads are to be delivered via car radio while the user is driving home from work; and still other ads are to be delivered to the user's handset at any time); and 2) Ad reminders: 36 months from now start tire ads. Ad Widge can log the date the user purchased/installed new tires, and, if the user wishes, blocks tire ads until the user is likely to be in the market again for tires. Conventional targeted advertising fails miserably in this regard: if a user purchases new tires today, then that user doesn't need to see tire ads for, say, 3 years or 36,000 miles. And though the user isn't in the market for tires, that user may in fact use the word “tires” in the meantime, say in an email. Yet a conventional “targeted” advertising approach would likely serve that user tire-related ads (wasting the user's time, and the advertiser's money) during those 3 years.
  • Once one or more profiles has been processed, Ad Widge 1014 makes one or more profiles available to select entities 1028 via a user profile broadcast 1027, hereafter “ComCloud” aka “commerce communications cloud” (or other means). A user's ComCloud may be broadcast by a plurality of modalities including Bluetooth, WiFi, wireless carrier network, Internet, infrared (IrDA), and/or other available means. For example, a user walking downtown along the sidewalk, may choose to have Ad Widge broadcast the user's ComCloud (such a broadcast is referred to herein as a “CloudCast”) via Bluetooth in such a manner that Ad Widge acts as a shield against information overload; a number of businesses along the user's path, may wish to send ads via WiFi to the user's mobile handset, however Ad Widge can block the undesired ads, and accept just those the user wishes.
  • In embodiments, Ad Widge matches the profiles of various entities 1028, against the user's profiles 1016, seeking matches for content (info/ads/et. al.) desired by the user against content available by the entity. Such entities may include, manufacturing entities 1029 (such as the manufacturer of Minute Maid orange juice), retail entities 1030 (such as grocery stores), advertising/marketing entities 1031 (such as ad buying agencies or market research firms), other users 1032 (who may, for example, share a similar profile), and/or other entities 1033 (who may, for example, share a similar profile).
  • In other embodiments, where entity profiles are not made directly available to Ad Widge, Ad Widge searches other sources such as existing online profiles/data, and performs (profile) matching against same.
  • Once one or more matches has been established, Ad Widge, as per the user's profile preferences, makes the user's profile available to the selected entity, for free or for a fee 1022 (which the user receives a portion of). Based upon the user's profile, the entity then decides whether or not to pay 1022 to send the user ads/offers/information/et. al. as per the user's preference profile. If the payment amount is non-zero, the user receives a portion of said monies.
  • Those skilled in the art may appreciate that entities already pay to get their ads/information to users; they pay middlemen entities, which make guesses as to which users might be interested in that entity's ads. Middlemen currently peddle profiles based upon guesses (often obtained by spying on users' online activities), and those guess-based profiles are sufficiently valuable that ad-sending entities pay middlemen to acquire such guess-based profiles. With Ad Widge, guesses about what users want/need are replaced by facts, from users, who create, manage and monetize their own profiles—automatically via Ad Widge. With Ad Widge, ad-sending entities no longer need to guess which customers and potential customers to reach and how to reach them. And since customers and potential customers instead manifest their profiles directly, via Ad Widge, to such entities, middlemen may be disintermediated. Thus, in a logical value-for-value transaction, users are paid for the inherent value of their profiles, which because they are based-upon actual products/services a user actually utilizes, are more accurate, and thus more valuable, than the guess-based profiles from middlemen common to the conventional art.
  • For example, the orange juice user might (be paid to) receive an ad from Minute Maid, which thereby hopes to convince the user to stay loyal to Minute Maid. However, if the user sets their Ad Widge preferences 1018 to accept ads/offers/information/et. al. 1019 from competing entities, the user might be paid 1022 to receive an ad from a Minute Maid competitor, such as Florida's Best orange juice, which thereupon presents information in their ad endeavoring to cause the user to switch brands.
  • Users 1001, via Ad Widge 1014, interact with ad-sending entities 1028 via their profile broadcast 1027. Examining the user's profile 1016 enables ad-sending entities 1028 to customize the ads. And ad-sending entities send ads 1019 to users who solicit same vis a vis their Ad Widge profile preferences 1018. Hence the present Invention: interactive, customized, user-solicited advertisements 1000.
  • FIG. 11 is a flow diagram illustrating an embodiment of an example wherein a user 1101 scans 1103 a movie ad in a newspaper 1117, whereupon the user's movie profile 1105 is updated, and thereby the movie-providing entities 1107 send ads, offers, and information 1114 per the user's profile 1115. For example, a user 1101 reading the Sunday newspaper is looking through the movie section and comes upon an ad 1117 for a movie the user wants to see “The Godfather.” In embodiments the user 1101 utilizes the user's mobile handset 1102 to scan the IP-based barcode on the ad 1117 for “The Godfather.” The IP-barcode includes the IP address where more information about the movie “The Godfather” can be found, and returns that information to the user's Ad Widge in the form of a data tile (a Tilz). This Tilz may include information such as theater times near the user, prices for DVDs in various store near the user, dates when the this movie will be available on a premium channel such as HBO, et. al. The Tilz users receive are customized based upon the profile of the person scanning the ad.
  • In embodiments the Ad Widge algorithm facility 1015 may process the received Tilz by heuristic methods that utilize information within the metadata appurtenant to the Tilz. The algorithm facility 1015 may then promote or demote individual elements comprising the user's list of names of profiles, in order to proffer to the user the name of the suggested profile to place “The Godfather” Tilz in. After receiving the user's query response, which might include the user choosing a profile other than the one suggested by Ad Widge, or manually creating a new profile category, “The Godfather” Tilz is sorted 1104 into the desired profile, the user's movie profile 1105. Ad Widge then presents 1107 the user's movie profile 1105, 1201 to appropriate entities 1108, 1109, 1110, 1111, 1112, 1113, such as those entities which can supply the user the movie “The Godfather.” Said entities then review the user's movie profile to determine if they would like to interact/transact with the user—a purported movie goer. For those entities 1108, 1109, 1110, 1111, 1112, 1113 that determine that the user 1101 is a party to whom they wish to advertise (or otherwise interact with or send information, et. al. to), those entities then send ads, offers, information, et. al 1114 as per the user's profile 1115.
  • For example, the first place a user can usually experience a particular movie is in the theater, so movie theaters 1108 near the user, which are playing the movie the user wants to see, might pay the user to send an ad touting that theater's high-end audio systems. Or another theater might make the user the following offer: purchase a movie ticket, and for just $7 more, the user can receive a digital download (the DVD Tilz) of the movie they are watching, while they are watching the movie, via Bluetooth or other means to the user's mobile handset. The next place a user can usually consume a movie is on pay-per-view. Pay-per-view may be offered by the user's television service provider, which can make a customized offer to the user to watch the movie. Next stores near the user that sell DVDs 1110 may wish to send ads to this movie going user, to entice the user to come in and purchase the DVD in their store—which enticement may be sweetened by a customized offer. Next online stores that sell DVDs 1111 may make offers to the user. Next premium channels such as HBO may make offers to the user; followed by other entities that can provide the movie desired by the user may wish to send ads/offers/information/et. al. to the user.
  • It should be noted that a user's profile 1105 may include a preference for accepting ads/offers/information/et. al. from related parties—in this case, say from food vendors, for delicious snacks and/or refreshing beverages that the user may wish to enjoy while watching the movie.
  • Finally, the Tilz that users receive are transactable objects, and thus users can make purchases directly from ads, even offline ads. In embodiments, users scan an offline ad 1117 in a newspaper, and receive the Tilz for that product. That data tile (Tilz) may include profile-based links to one or more Websites where the user can purchase the product. Alternatively, the Tilz itself may include the ability to purchase the product. This functionality may be informed by the use of third party servers or Websites. Such use however, may not be apparent to the user as per the Ad Widge graphical user interface, in order to provide a more user-friendly streamlined shopping experience. Order fulfillment may be effected by interface to, for instance, the product manufacturer/distributor/retailer's e-commerce Website (or other order fulfilling entity or process).
  • FIG. 12 is a depiction of an embodiment of an example user profile 1201, wherein the movie profile is informed by a data tile (Tilz) for every movie the user has already seen 1202, in addition to a tile for each movie the user would like to see in the future 1203; as combined with optional location 1206 and score 1207 data.
  • In embodiments users receive a tile/Tilz each time they consume a movie and thereby their movie profile is automatically built. The Tilz contains a profile of that movie watching experience. No matter whether a user sees a movie in the theater 1108, buys the DVD 1109, 1110, watches it on pay-per-view 1109, a premium channel (such as HBO) 1112, or on a “free” channel, the user receives a Tilz. For example, if a user goes to see a movie in the theater, they may receive the Tilz 1204 as their receipt for purchasing the ticket. In addition, the Tilz profile of the user's movie watching experience might include information such as the name of the movie watched; the theater name/address where the user consumed the movie; the movie showing time; ticket price; paid with credit card xxxx-xxxx-xxxx-1234; items purchased at the snack bar; games played in the lobby; movie rating by the user; et. al. Alternative embodiments not involving Tilz are conceived wherein the same or similar data tracking and presentation is accomplished by more conventional vehicles such as Websites.
  • In embodiments a user's Movies Already Seen profile 1202 is built-up automatically over time, or users can choose to manually (or via other means) build/supplant their movie profile Similarly, a user's Movies Not Yet Seen profile 1203 is automatically built-up over time via a plurality of means, including but not limited to scanning the barcodes of ads in the periodicals/newspapers/et. al.; digitally marking an ad the user hears on the radio or sees on TV; and/or recommendation by a friend or colleague; for movies the user hasn't yet seen, but wants to. In each case the user receives the Tilz for the movie, which Ad Widge then sorts 1104 into the user's movie profile 1201.
  • Users may choose to include location information 1206 in their movie profile, such as the zip code in which the user wishes to consume that particular movie (location preference, can be per profile as a whole, or per individual Tilz). This information is vital to potential ad-sending entities. For example, only those movie theaters near where the user wishes to consume the movie, would likely be interested in paying the user to send the user ads/offers/info/et. al. related to same.
  • In embodiments where ad-sending entities pay users to send ads to the user, the user must prove to the satisfaction of the ad-sending entity that the user (as per FIG. 12) is a legitimate movie-going user, whose expected future stream of movie-related expenditures 1203 are sufficient to warrant paying the user in the hopes of enticing that user to become a customer of the ad-sending entity. An additional tool ad-sending entities may wish to avail themselves of is the user's Web Cred score 1207. Similar in concept to a user's credit report FICO score, a Web Cred score is a numerical expression of a user's Web credibility; that is to say, a computed figure that examines factors such as the relationship between the number of information requests versus purchases for a given product. And in the same way that a FICO score informs a credit card company's decision to issue a person a credit card or not, an ad-sending entity can choose to factor a user's Web Cred score in, when deciding whether or not to pay to send ads to a given user.
  • FIG. 13 is a functional block diagram illustrating a depiction of a user's advertising profile 1301, and the constituent elements therein 1302; in addition to a depiction of an embodiment of a simple schematic illustrating the functional relationships between the user 1311 and the product and service providers 1316 who wish to advertise 1315 to the user, and highlights the role that the Invention's client-side ad profile matching facility 1313 plays in the process; in this case via the user's mobile handset 1312.
  • Ad Widge is a real world ad platform. Life takes place in the real world, via, for instance, interaction with the real world objects a person actually utilizes in their life. To that end, the Ad Widge platform is accessible by devices such as mobile handsets 1303, which, pending a compelling blend of hardware/services, may emerge as the next primary computing platform, and represent the first computing platform which a user might have on their person during their every waking hour. A user's profiles can live on the user's devices, not just on the Internet or other servers. Thus, the Ad Widge client-side software, which resides on the user's digital device of choice, enables users to create profiles 1302 as well as broadcast (CloudCast) profiles 1304 therefrom. Such profiles may include things such as: Profiles of the items they want to buy; Profiles of the types of people they want to date; Profiles of their appliances, which at some point will inevitably need replacing/repair; Profiles of those items they are performing searches for; And so on. With the Mobi Platform, users interact with the profiles of others, objects, entities to get what they want/need, with far less time and effort.
  • In embodiments users CloudCast their Ad Widge profile 1304 directly from their mobile handset 1303 via means such as Bluetooth, or peer-to-peer via various means (such as infrared IrDA), wireless carrier network, or other means (such as via the Internet). Thus as the user moves about in their real life, they can be constantly adding to and updating the profiles 1302 vis a vis the things they utilize in their life, and thereby constantly benefit by this realtime profile. Via Ad Widge users essentially carry around their wants and needs (in the form of profiles), and have their wants and needs met, with far less effort than as per the conventional art.
  • Even if a user's profiles 1302 are created and hosted locally, for instance on a user's mobile handset 1312, users can also have their profiles stored and matched via (and broadcast from) a remote server (or other device) via the Internet 1314 (or other means). User profiles can even be stored and matched on a user's PC or TV (and broadcast therefrom via a plurality of communication modalities). Multi-nodal profile synchronization can be performed manually by the user or automatically by Ad Widge as per various rules 1024, 1025.
  • Companies (product and service providers 1316, including product manufacturers and retailers, as well as various ad/marketing entities) can view user profiles 1302 and make decisions manually, or companies can create and surface their own profiles, optionally utilizing Ad Widge, and have their profiles automatically matched in realtime 1313 with other entities/objects/people/companies/et. al. with whom they might want to share/exchange/deliver ads/offers/information/et. al. 1315. A user's profile 1301, is matched with profiles of various companies, entities, objects, et. al. <